Parliament today passed a bill granting voting rights to people who became citizens of the country following the exchange of enclaves between India and Bangladesh, with the Rajya Sabha giving its nod to the measure without debate.
Law Minister D V Sadananda Gowda moved the Election Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016 for consideration and passage in the Upper House and the members passed it by a voice vote without any discussion.
As there was din in the House at that time, JD(U) member K C Tyagi said the bill should be passed without any disorder as all parties had agreed to pass it unanimously.
The Bill, which was adopted by the Lok Sabha yesterday, seeks to amend Section 11 of the Delimitation Act, 2002 and Section 9 of the Representation of the People Act, 1950.
The measure would enable the Election Commission to carry out limited delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies in Cooch Behar district of West Bengal following the exchange of 51 Bangladeshi and 111 Indian enclaves in July last year.
The term of the 294-member West Bengal Assembly ends on May 29 and elections are to be held before that, hence there was a sense of urgency for early passage of the bill.
At an all-party meeting convened by Rajya Sabha Chairman Hamid Ansari last week, the Opposition agreed to the proposal of the Government that the Bill be passed at the earliest.