New Delhi: The government on Tuesday introduced in Lok Sabha the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, that seeks to to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Speaking on the bill, home minister Rajnath Singh said it will pave way for religious minorities – Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis – from these states to get Indian citizenship.
The bill was tabled after it was cleared by a joint parliamentary committee. Introduction of the bill was vehemently objected to by the opposition. The Congress said many states have opposed the bill and it should be sent to a select committee.
With Speaker Sumitra Mahajan not heeding to the demand, the Congress staged a walkout.
TMC’s Saugata Roy dubbed the bill as “divisive” and “insidious” and said it goes against the basic tenets of the constitution.
The legislation has resulted in widespread protests, primarily in Assam and several parts of Northeast India. BJP’s ally in the state, the Asom Gano Parishad, has withdrawn support from the state government over the issue. The Shiv Sena and the NDA too have opposed the legislation.
Seeking to assuage concerns, the home minister said: “The burden of illegal immigrants will not be borne by Assam, it will be shared by different states.”