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Published On: Wed, Dec 11th, 2019

Citizenship Bill That Excludes Muslims Passed by Rajya Sabha

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AmitShah_RS_660NEW DELHI : Rajya Sabha on Wednesday approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, after an eight-hour debate that saw several Opposition leaders make their cases against it.
The decision came after the Upper House rejected the motion to send the Bill to a select committee. The controversial legislation was cleared by the Lok Sabha two days earlier with the support of as many as 334 MPs.
Completing the legislative procedure for giving Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Replying to a six-and-a-half-hour debate on the bill, Home Minister Amit Shah said the legislation seeks to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities in the three countries and not take away citizenship of anyone.
He rejected the Opposition charge that the bill was against Muslims and said they have nothing to fear. The Bill was passed with 125 votes in favour and 105 against it.  Earlier in the day, Union Home Minister Amit Shah tabled the Bill, saying the legislation provides hopes for lakhs of people who are living with no permanent residency in India.
“This bill will provide the persecuted a chance to provide for their families. People of the country have supported the legislation,” he said.  Attacking the government, Congress’s Anand Sharma said: “The bill that you have brought is an assault on the very foundation of the Indian constitution, it is an assault on the Republic of India. It hurts the soul of India.
It is against our constitution and democracy. It fails the morality test.” Congress’ P Chidambaram too said he hoped the judiciary would strike down the “arbitrary” law.
Commenting on Sena’s decision to stay away from voting, Subramanian Swamy says, “It was good of Shiv Sena to stick with the Hindutva ideology in the matter of CAB. SS did not vote against the CAB. Time to open a channel with SS and win them back. They can keep CM post for 2 1/2 years.”
The Shiv Sena on Wednesday “boycotted” the voting on the CAB  in Rajya Sabha as its three members walked out of the House before the vote. After the question was raised on the absence of three of the party’s lawmakers in the Upper House, MP Sanjay Raut said, “Yes, Shiv Sena has boycotted the voting.”
When asked if the party’s boycotting will have any effect on their alliance with the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress, he remained dismissive. “What effect will it have? We have kept forth our view. We are an independent political party.
We have our own role,” he said. The Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, which broke its alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra last month, the party had supported the legislation in the Lok Sabha, saying that it was in the “larger interests of the country”.
Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said “The government does not want to address concerns around the economy and issue of price rise. BJP is only interested in keeping the country divided on the lines of religion. Abrogation of Article 370 and Triple Talaq Bill are other examples. This just proves that the BJP has no respect for the Constitution.”
Tabled in both the houses by Union Home Minister Amit Shah, the bill has been slammed by rights groups as well as opposition parties on the grounds that it “discriminates” against Muslim migrants and violates Article 14 of the Constitution. Opposition leaders, who claim that the bill can never survive “judicial scrutiny”, are expected to challenge it in the Supreme Court.
Compassion and brotherhood! Glad that the #CAB2019 has been passed in the #RajyaSabha. Gratitude to all the MPs who voted in favour of the bill. This bill will alleviate the suffering of many who faced persecution for years,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted soon after the CAB was passed. Home Minister Amit Shah, tabling the bill in the Rajya Sabha, said Muslims of the country need not fear because “they are and will remain citizens of the country”.
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O’Brien warned the Rajya Sabha that India was “moving from a democracy to a dictatorship”. In his address, Mr O’Brien invoked images from Nazi Germany and compared them to the Citizenship Bill and the NRC, starting with an “eerie similarity” between concentration camps and detention camps in the North East.
The BJP’s JP Nadda rejected the opposition’s claims that the Citizenship Bill was discriminatory. “That is absolutely incorrect,” he said, stressing that the proposed law was “purely for minorities in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh”.
Congress MP P Chidambaram, out on bail in the INX Media case after a prolonged legal struggle, posed several key questions to the centre, including asking why only three of India’s neighbours had been considered in the bill and why other communities and faiths – such as Sri Lankan Hindus – have been excluded.
Reacting to the passing of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill by Parliament on Wednesday, Congress president Sonia Gandhi described it a “dark day” in the Constitutional history of India and said it marked the victory of “narrow-minded and bigoted forces” over India’s pluralism
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi launched a scathing attack on the bill and the centre today, terming it as a “criminal attack on the northeast” and an attempt by the centre to “ethnically cleanse” the region. A Lok Sabha MP, Mr Gandhi said he stood in solidarity with the people of the North East and was at their service.
India is historically a tolerant country which believes in secularism (but) their historic position will be weakened if they deviate from that: Bangladesh Foreign Minister. Passage of CAB marks “victory of narrow minded and bigoted forces” over India’s pluralism: Sonia Gandhi.
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