Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 Introduced In Lok Sabha; Sena Votes In Govt’s Favour

The contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 has been introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday.  The bill was introduced after a division of votes for which 293 MPs voted in favour and 82 voted against.

As he tabled the bill, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said in Lok Sabha that the Bill is not against minorities but against infiltrators.

Introducing the bill, Shah said the Congress “divided” the country on the basis of religion that is why it was necessary to bring the bill.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, seeks to give Indian nationality to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan facing religious persecution there.

As soon as Shah introduced the bill, he got into a debate with Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhary, who said that the bill was a targeted legislation over minority people of our country.

“It’s nothing but a targeted legislation over minority people of our country,” Chowdhary said.

Countering Chowdhary’s allegations, Amit Shah said, “this Bill is not even .001% against minorities in the country”.

” It is against infiltrators,” he said.

Shah said the proposed legislation is being brought on the basis of reasonable classifications provided under the Constitution and it does not violate any of its provisions.

The bill, he said, seeks to give Indian nationality to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who are facing religious persecution there.

The home minister said laws were framed to give citizenship to people on several occasions in the past, including in 1971 after the creation of Bangladesh and attacks on Indians in Uganda, by using the provision of reasonable classifications.

Earlier, opposition leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Saugata Roy, N K Premchandran, Gaurav Gogoi, Shashi Tharoor, Assaduddin Owaisi opposed the introduction of the bill, saying it was violative of various provisions of the Constitution, including move to grant citizenship on the basis on religion.

Suprisingly, the Shiv Sena has voted in government’s support to introduce the Bill in Parliament, in a move which may not go down well with Congress, its ally in Maharashtra, which brands the bill as “unconstitutional”.

All the MPs of Sena who were present during the proceeding, have voted to support the introduction of the bill in the Lok Sabha.

The bill was set to sail through smoothly in the Lok Sabha, as the BJP has 303 MPs in the 545-member House.

The BJP had  issued whip to all its Lok Sabha members to remain present in the House for three days starting from December 9, sources in the party said on Sunday.

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