Parliament Updates: With 125 Ayes and 105 Noes, Rajya Sabha passes Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019

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Parliament Updates: With 125 Ayes and 105 Noes, Rajya Sabha passes Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019
  • 21:18 (IST)

    Narendra Modi, Amit Shah laud passage of CAB in Rajya Sabha

    Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah took to Twitter in celebration of the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

  • 21:09 (IST)

    Sonia Gandhi issues statement on 'unconstitutional' CAB

    Congress president Sonia Gandhi shared a statement on the Citizenship Amendment Bill, saying that Wednesday was a "dark day" in the constitutional history of India.

    "The passage of Citizenship Amendment Bill marks the victory of narrow-minded and bigoted forces over India's pluralism," she said.

  • 21:03 (IST)

    Shiv Sena admits to 'boycotting' voting on CAB

    Sanjay Raut, the Shiv Sena MP in the Rajya Sabha said, "Yes, Shiv Sena has boycotted the voting," on being asked if they have boycotted the voting on the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

  • 20:56 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Citizenship Amendment Bill passed with 125 votes in favour and 105 against

    The contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed by the Upper House on Wednesday with 125 votes in favour and 105 against. 

  • 20:44 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Amit Shah moves motion to pass Citizenship Amendment Bill

    The Upper House has decided to vote on the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill through division of votes.

  • 20:34 (IST)

    India is my home: Asaduddin Owaisi

    AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi tweeted regarding his opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill and said, "Citizenship Amendment Bill privileges foreigners over Indians SOLELY because they’re non-Muslim. India is my home. Don’t be so delusional that you think you will instil fear in us."

  • 20:29 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Amendments by Opposition MPs defeated 

    Several amendments moved by Opposition MPs from the TMC, Congress, CPM, among other parties were rejected by the Rajya Sabha in the debate over the Citizenship Bill on Wednesday. Some MPs are asking Minister to accept those amendments as in good intent, but all are put to vote and defeated.

  • 20:18 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    TMC amendments rejected by Rajya Sabha

    The 14 amendments to the Citizenship Bill that were moved by the Trinamool Congress were rejected by the Rajya Sabha MPs.

  • 20:14 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Shiv Sena walks out of Upper House

    Former NDA ally Shiv Sena has reportedly walked out of the Rajya Sabha ahead of the votes on the amendments moved by Opposition members and the passage of the bill. On Tuesday, party chief Uddhav Thackeray said that the party wouldn't support the bill if their queries raised in the Lok Sabha were unanswered.

  • 20:07 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    124 MPs vote against referring CAB to Select Committee

    Rajya Sabha negated the motion for sending Citizenship Amendment Bill to a Select Committee. 124 members voted against it while 99 members voted in its favour. The motion was moved by CPM MP, KK Ragesh.

  • 20:03 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    CAB is not anti-Muslim: Amit Shah

    On the majority of the Opposition's allegation that the Citizenship Amendment Bill is discriminatory against Muslims, Home Minister Amit Shah said, "Neither CAB is anti-Muslim, nor abrogation of Article 370 is anti-Muslim, Triple Talaq Bill is not anti-Muslim either. Triple Talaq is the Bill to give rights to crores of Muslim women in the country."

    "Article 370 — do only Muslims live in Jammu & Kashmir? No Hindus? No Buddhists? Why is it viewed like that? It has been abrogated for everyone & not only Muslims. How can CAB be anti-Muslim? In this Bill, there is no proposal to touch the citizenship of any Muslim," he added.

    "Abrogation of Article 370, Triple Talaq Bill are not anti-Muslim. Do women not have rights? Kashmir is peaceful even after abrogation of 370. Likewise, I don't believe #CitizenshipAmendmentBill2019 is anti-Muslim," he said.

  • 19:54 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Upper House votes on sending Citizenship Amendment Bill to Select Committee

    The members of the Rajya Sabha are currently voting on whether to send the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha at midnight on 10 December, should be sent to a Select Committee of the Upper House. The House will decide via the method of division of votes.

  • 19:49 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    We don't want Muslims to be scared of us, says Amit Shah to Kapil Sibal

    In response to Congress MP Kapil Sibal's statement that Indian Muslims weren't scared of the government, Home Minister Amit Shah said, "Unhe bhi nahi darna chahiye. Aur aap daraiye bhi mat. Bharat ke musalman ki nagrikta koi cheen nahi raha hai. Yeh nagrikta dene ka Bill hai, nagrikta lene ka nahi (They shouldn't be scared, and they shouldn't be incited to be scared either. The citizenship of Indian Muslims will not be snatched)."

    In the time allotted for clarifications, Sibal said "The kind of statements made today by Mr Shah destroy the secular fabric of the country."

  • 19:42 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    During UPA rule, refugees of only two religions benefitted: Amit Shah

    Home Minister Amit Shah, in a jibe against the Congress in his speech on the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha, said, "During UPA government, the then-Rajasthan govt wrote to then HM P Chidambaram stating outstanding issue of large no. of Pak refugees from Hindu and Sikh communities. 13,000 people from two religions only were benefited. Whereas, we have included refugees from six religions.

    "But, no one will say anything because whatever the Congress does is secularism. Till when will you fool people?"

  • 19:33 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Uproar over Amit Shah's comparison between Congress, Imran Khan's statements

    There was disruption in the Upper House during Home Minister Amit Shah's speech on the Citizenship Amendment Bill. In addition to the TMC party, the Congress protested Shah's statement in which he drew parallels between the speeches made by Congress MPs and Pakistani politicians like Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan.

    "I don't know how this happens, but whatever the Congress MPs say, is echoed by Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and vice versa," he said.

  • 19:27 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Amit Shah reiterates that Rohingyas cannot be included in CAB

    Responding to questions regarding the exclusion of Rohingyas from the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Home Minister Amit Shah said, "It was asked that why were Rohingyas not included in the Bill? Rohingyas don't come to India directly, they go to Bangladesh and then infiltrate into India from there."

  • 19:16 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Why did Congress accept Jinnah's demand of Partition: Amit Shah

    Home Minister Amit Shah, saying that he wouldn't get into the argument over whether Savarkar propagated the two-nation theory or not, challenged the Congres on why the party had accepted Jinnah's demand for Partition. "If you accept Vivekanand, then accept the Citizenship Amendment Bill," he said.

    Shah also took a dig at the Shiv Sena for changing its stance on the bill. He said, "It's shocking how a party can change its stand overnight to grab on to power. Even the people of Maharashtra want to know."

    He also dismissed Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut's claim that if anyone voted against CAB will be deemed as anti-national.

  • 19:01 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Uproar in Upper House over Amit Shah's statement

    TMC MPs Derek O Brien and Sukhendu Shekhar Roy raised objections in the Upper House against Home Minister Amit Shah's statement in which he named West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's comment in 2005 objecting to infiltrators in Bengal.

    The TMC MPs stated that the home minister is misleading. The MPs also engaged in an argument over raising a point of order with Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu.

    "If you don't maintain order, I will be forced to ask the minister to conclude his statement and put the bill to vote," Naidu said.

    Roy said, "No point can be made against someone holding a constitutional office, unless motion brought. A statement has been made against Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee."

  • 18:45 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Amit Shah doesn't rule out CAB being extended to other minorities

    In his response to the debate over CAB in the Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah indicated that the law to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh could be extended to other minorities.

    "There is no appreciation of those included, but problem with Muslims being excluded. Though low possibilities of Muslims being oppressed in these three countries, but if that is the case, they can claim citizenship as per law.

    "Over 560 Muslims from these countries already given," he said.

    He also addressed Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad's argument that the Centre doesn't have "authentic records" on the number of persecuted minorities in the three countries, Shah said, "There is no data because they (refugees) are living as illegal occupants, because of you (Congress). But now they wont be, they will come ahead and become citizens and then we will show numbers in Parliament on how many benefitted."

  • 18:33 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Nehru-Liaquat agreement not honoured in Pakistan: Amit Shah

    Home Minister Amit Shah referred to the pact between prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and his Pakistan counterpart Liaquat Ali Khan, which promised the minorities their rights. He said, "However, the promise was not kept in Pakistan. Unlike India, which fulfilled it promise, the three neighbouring countries betrayed the people and drove them away. These people came to India seeking help."

  • 18:28 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Amit Shah responds to objections to CAB in Rajya Sabha

    Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would have never been needed if the Partition had been prevented during Independence in 1947. "Congress chose to divide the nation on the basis of religion," he said.

    "Some members have said that the bill is unconstitutional and questioned its need. Some of them also said that there is a hidden agenda for political polarisation. I will answer all the questions one by one. But first, I would like to give a brief historical background to it."

  • 18:24 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates 

    Ravi Shankar Prasad says CAB has been vetted by Law Ministry

    ]Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday also spoke in the debate over the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha. He said, "The bill has been vetted by the law ministry and has been found to be constitutional. The Parliament has power to make laws on this subject."

  • 18:19 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Centre has no data to prove persecution of minorities: Ghulam Nabi Azad

    Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad, said that the Centre had "no authentic record" on persecutions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, which are the countries that the government has included in the current draft of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. 

    "You have no authentic record on persecutions, and the Home Minister is claiming that crores of such people are there. How many such people (refugees) have applied? Your statistics say that only 4,000 applications have come."

    Citing current instances of violence in Assam, Azad said, "There are protests going on in Assam, the North East but you are claiming that all are happy."

     

  • 18:04 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Don't Bhutanese Christians, Sri Lankan Hindus have issues in their countries, asks Ghulam Nabi Azad 

    Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad also opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and questioned only the inclusion of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh in the bill. He also referred to the oppression faced by Muslim women in Afghanistan by the Taliban and said, "Who says that Muslims are not persecution in the countries you have chosen?"

    "Why have Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar been excluded?"

  • 18:01 (IST)

    Mobile internet services suspended in 10 Assam districts

    Amid protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Assam, mobile internet services has been suspended for 24 hours from 7pm on Wednesday to 7pm on Thursday.

    The restriction has been imposed in the Lakhimpur, Tinsukia, Dhemaji, Dibrugarh, Charaideo, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Golaghat, Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup districts of Assam. The move comes as the proposed law is being debated in the Rajya Sabha.

  • 17:51 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    AAP says CAB is against Ambedkar's Constitution

    AAP MP in the Rajya Sabha, Sanjay Singh said, "I am opposing this bill as it is against the Constitution made by Babasaheb BR Ambedkar. It is against the Preamble of the Constitution. It is against the India of the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh."

  • 17:43 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Congress is confused between CAB, NRC: Subramanian Swamy

    Asserting that the Citizenship Amendment Bill was "not unconstitutional", BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said that Congress was "confused" between the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and CAB and is misleading the House.

    "Congress had earlier passed a resolution that Hindus from Pakistan should be given citizenship, (former prime minister) Manmohan Singh mentioned about atrocities on minorities. So, BJP has now acted on this and Article 14 doesn't bar it. Congress seems confused between CAB and NRC and have misled the House in some way," he said.

    "If you look at the percentage of Hindus and Sikhs and other non-Muslim religion in 1952 in Pakistan, we see a large decline in their population. Same thing is in Bangladesh. We see news about their persecution on a daily basis," he added.

    On the Opposition's contention over the exclusion of Sri Lanka and other neighbouring countries where minorities face persecution, Swamy said, "Sri Lankan Tamils did not come (to India) for religious persecutions. They came due to the war. The government of India has built houses for them and their numbers have dwindled. The terms like genocide is just propaganda. This bill is something we need to protect ourselves."

  • 17:30 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    CAB will be final nail of India's democracy: PDP, IUML 

    PDP MP in the Rajya Sabha, Mir Mohd Fayaz, in his speech opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, said that the proposed legislation sought to target the Muslim community. "Whether it is Triple Talaq or Article 370 or this bill, since this governemnt has been in power, the Muslim community is being targeted. Muslims won't come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Bangladesh, but what about Indian Muslims?

    "We came to secular India in the hope of equality, rather goign to Muslim-majority Pakistan. I think my ancestors were wrong. In this country, now Muslims are being targeted and discriminated against."

    Abdul Wahab, IUML MP also said, "The bill discriminates against Muslims and other persecuted minorities in India. If the bill gets passed with tyranny of majority, it will be final nail in coffin of Indian democracy. Urges government to withdraw it."

  • 17:24 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Congress, Left to appeal for CAB to be sent to Select Committee

    The Congress and Left Front, both of whom have vehemently opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, will reportedly move to send the contentious legislation to a select committee of the Parliament.

    India Today also reported that a 43 amendments have been moved by political parties regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha. "13 amendments have been moved by the TMC, and three by Congress," the report said.

  • 17:16 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    BJD, YSRCP support Citizenship Amendment Bill

    BJD and YSRCP MPs indicated their support for the CAB as the contentious bill was being debated in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. However, both parties appealed for changes to the current draft of the proposed law.

    YSRCP MP V Vijaysai Reddy said, "Our party supports the Citizenship Amendment Bill. We believe in giving citizenship to those people who face persecution in their country and live in inhumane conditions. However, the government should consider giving citizenship to those minorities among the Muslim community such as Boras and Ahmedis and face persecution in their country.

    BJD leader Prasanna Acharya was quoted by ANI as saying, "Our stand is the same as was in Lok Sabha. We are supporting the bill but we want certain amendments in the bill like including Sri Lanka in it."

  • 17:07 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    Nagaland MP extends support to CAB

    Nagaland MP KG Kenye extended his support to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. He said that the entire burden of the refugee population after the Pakistan-Bangladesh war was "dropped" on the North East, and expressed hope that the bill would deal with the illegal immigrants who threaten to erode the culture of the region.

    He said, " I come from ground zero of this controversy. Our people are not communal. Our request is that leaders of all parties to focus on core aim of bill, to deal, with those illegal immigrants who threaten to erode our culture.

    "Nation needs to take a genuine look at bill. There are two layers of illegal immigrants. They occupy land for commercial purpose and second layer came after the Pakistan-Bangladesh war, where we lost many soldiers too. Entire burden of population was dropped on North East."

  • 16:59 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

    CAB goes against essence of Sikkim: SDF

    Sikkim Democratic Front MP Hishey Lachungpa said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will go against the essence of the provision under which Sikkim state was merged with India. "I seek an assurance that all provisions of Article 371 will not be diluted."

  • 16:40 (IST)

    Kamal Haasan says CAB is 'stupid attempt' to make India a country for one sect

    Kamal Haasan, chief of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), weighed in on the discourse regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill even as the contentious bill was being debated in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

    He said, "We have a duty to amend the Constitution if there was any error, but to attempt to amend a flawless Constitution is a betrayal. Centre's law and plan is akin to a crime of attempting surgery on a healthy person. Those who attempted and failed are trying again."

  • 16:37 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha latest updates

    RJD says no difference between NRC and CAB

    RJD MP Manoj Kumar Jha said that if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha and became a law, there would be "mourning in the the heavens".

    He said, "During JPC, it was suggested by experts that the word 'religion' should be dropped from the bill and 'persecuted minority' should be used in its place. This suggestion was set aside for no reason."

    Addressing Home Minister Amit Shah, Jha was quoted by The Indian Express as saying, "I am sitting in your Opposition, but that does not make me your enemy. I beseech you in the name of const think once you might be committing a great blunder. A state that persecutes does not differentiate between A, B, and C. Mr. Chidambaram also said persecution is of many types, mostly on the basis of political belief. And there is no place for atheists as well."

    "This bill is unintelligent different and unreasonable classification. NRC and CAB are not different. What will you do about stateless citizens? I plead to you to use majority in a better way, don't misuse it," he added.

  • 16:31 (IST)

    Hard-fought freedom is at stake: Pinarayi Vijayan

    Kerala chief minister, tweeting a statement against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, said, "The Citizenship Amendment Bill is an attack on the secular and democratic character of India. The move to decide citizenship on the basis of religion amounts to a rejection of the Constitution. It will only take our country backward. Our hard-fought freedom is at stake."

  • 16:29 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha latest updates

    Prashant Kishor says JD(U) should think of people who reposed faith in them in 2015

     

    JD(U) leader Prashant Kishor, continuing his criticism of his party on its support for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, tweeted on Wednesday while the bill was being debated in the Rajya Sabha.

    "While supporting the CAB, the JDU leadership should spare a moment for all those who reposed their faith and trust in it in 2015. We must not forget that but for the victory of 2015, the party and its managers wouldn’t have been left with much to cut any deal with anyone."

  • 16:25 (IST)

    Parliament being asked to do something unconstitutional: P Chidambaram 

    Congress leader P Chidambaram, after speaking in the debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, was quoted by ANI as saying, "It'is a sad day that elected Parliamentarians are being asked to do something unconstitutional. The Bill is patently unconstitutional. The government says ‘130 crore ppl are supporting them’, but the entire North East is in flames.

  • 16:22 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha latest updates

    Praful Patel says 'foolish' to base Citizenship Amendment Bill on religion

    NCP MP in the Rajya Sabha Praful Patel said, "We oppose this bill. Not only Hindus, but many Muslims also came from East Pakistan to India after its partition. Therefore, it would be foolish to base this bill on religion."

    "The bill should be sent to a select committee and re-evaluated," he added.

  • 16:04 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha latest updates

    Two-nation theory was Savarkar's: Kapil Sibal responds to Amit Shah's jibe against Congress

    Congress leader Kapil Sibal slammed Home Minister Amit Shah's statements in the Lok Sabha when the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was being debated before it was passed with two-thirds majority.

    Responding to Shah's comments that the Citizenship Bill wouldn't have been needed "if it weren't for the Congress", Sibal said, "I don't understand which history books the home minister has read. Two-nation theory is not our theory. It was perpetrated by Savarkar."

    "This bill gives legal colour to the two-nation theory," Sibal said, adding, "Don't convert the secular republic of India into a Jurassic republic."

    "It is a historical bill, since you're changing the foundation of constitution. Lakhs of people will see a new tomorrow but for lakhs of people, night won't end. I request you to rise above politics, this is nothing but politics, you're destroying future of country," he said.

  • 15:58 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha latest updates

    Those who have no idea of India can't protect idea of India: Kapil Sibal 

    Senior advocate and Congress MP Kapil Sibal said that the Centre was intending to define citizenship in India based on people's "name".

    "It is very interesting that JP Nadda mentioned Manmohan Singh's statement on persecuted refugees, but he didn't mention what LK Advani said. While Manmohan Singh had lobbied for citizenship to be granted to those fleeing persecution in our neighbouring States, but Advani had said that refugees can never be on par with the citizens of India.

    "How can you prove which refugees are escaping persecution and which aren't? Which refugee has ever said that they are persecuted? A Hindu who claims that he/she was a citizen of India, you are forcing them to say that they were persecuted in Bangladesh."

    He added, "No Indian Muslim is scared of you, not a single citizen is scared of you. We only fear the Constitution, which you are destroying. You are targetting a community without naming it. 19-20 million people will not trust us."

  • 15:50 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha latest updates

    BSP says exclusion of Muslims is 'sole' problem

    BSP MP Satish Chandra Mishra, while opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, said that Muslims being excluded from the proposed legislation was the only "problem" with the draft. "Why are you violating Article 14 by excluding Muslims?" he said.

    He added, "Article 14 and 21 uses the word 'person' and not 'citizen'. This distinction has been done keeping in mind fundamental rights. This Act is bound to fail. This Act is not a constitutional amendment."

  • 15:38 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha latest updates

    Will refugees get voting rights, asks Shiv Sena

    Shiv Sena on Wednesday reiterated its questions over the Citizenship (Amendment) bill in the Rajya Sabha in the debate over the bill. Asserting that the party had its hopes pinned on a "strong" prime minister and home minister, MP Sanjay Raut asked whether refugees would get voting rights. He also questioned whether infiltrators will be removed by way of this bill.

    During the dicussion on the contentious bill in the Lok Sabha, another Shiv Sena MP had said that refugees should not be given voting rights for 25 years.

    Raut also said that there shouldn't be politics over giving asylum to refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh "out of humanity".

  • 15:33 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha latest updates

    We are the headmasters of Hindutva, nationalism 'school': Sanjay Raut

    Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who was at the forefront of the party's "belligerent" stand against the BJP after the Maharashtra Assembly polls, said that a citizen's nationalism cannot be decided based on whether they support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or not.

    Taking a jibe at the BJP, he said, "We don't need any certificate on our nationalism or Hindutva. Jis school mein aap padhte ho, hum us school ke head master hain (We [Shiv Sena] are the headmaster of the school you attend).

    "Hamare school ke headmaster Balasaheb Thackeray the, Atal ji, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee bhi the, hum sabko mante hain (Our headmasters also include Balasaheb Thackeray, Atal [Bihari Vajpayee], Shyama Prasad Mukerjee; we follow all). I have been hearing since yesterday that those who do not support this Bill are anti-national and those who support it are nationalist."

  • 15:19 (IST)

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    Amit Shah misleading India on Constitution Bill: Congress

     

    The Congress accused Home Minister Amit Shah of "misleading" the country on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill and claimed that the proposed legislation was a direct attack on the Constitution, aimed at diverting the attention of the people from real issues such as the economic slowdown. The government is trying to divide the people of the country and divert attention from the problems being faced by them, Congress General Secretary (organisation) K C Venugopal said.

  • 15:05 (IST)

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    CAB is unconstitutional, says P Chidambaram


    Pointing out that India already has a Citizenship Act through which one can become a citizen, Congress' P Chidambaram said that the government bringing in this Bill makes this "process through arbitrary executive feat". "This government is ramming through this Bill to advance its Hindutva agenda. This is a sad day. I am absolutely clear that this law will be struck off."

    He said that by moving this Bill for consideration and passage, the Parliament is being asked to do something unconstitutional. "This will not stop here. It will eventually go to judges. So unelected lawyers and judges will decide and it will be a slap on our faces," Chidambaram said.

    The former finance minister demanded that if the Attorney General was consulted before bringing in the Bill, he should be brought to the House to answer questions including why only three countries were included in the Bill's ambit and why no communities other than those named in the legislation have been considered.

    "Why has the Bill excluded Sri Lankan Hindus and Bhutanese Christians. Why just religious persecution, why not persecution on grounds of politics, linguistic?" he asked.

  • 14:54 (IST)

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    Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will not stand SC's scrutiny, says DMK's Tiruchi Siva


    Opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, DMK's Tiruchi Siva said that it seemed to him that his Constitution is different from the government's. Adding that the Bill will not stand the Supreme Court's scrutiny, he asked why only three countries were included in the law's ambit.

    "Shias in Pakistan also suffer from persecution. Are they not humans?" he asked.

    Tiruchi Siva said that the Bill is polarising and ignores the question about what will happen to the migrant Muslims. "Will they be kept in detention centres or will they now go to Pakistan. Many Muslims stayed in India, despite Jinnah's invitation. Shouldn't we honour their patriotism?" he asked.

  • 14:46 (IST)

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    Who will protect minorities who suffer backlash because of this Bill, asks CPM's TR Rangarajan


    CPM's TR Rangarajan opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and said that the secularism is a part of the Constitution's basic structure.

    He called the Bill "unconstitutional, unethical, immoral" and said that it intentionally leaves out Muslims. He said that it is false that Muslims cannot be persecuted in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

    Encroachment of religion in secular activities not permitted, Rangarajan said, adding that it is known that Bangladesh is the third largest Hindu state, after India and Nepal. He said that given that there are a million Hindus in Pakistan and Sri Lanka, he asked who will be responsible is these minorities suffer the backlashof the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

  • 14:39 (IST)

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    Centre has mandate but cannot break Constitution, says TRS


    TRS' K Keshava Rao said that he does not believe that India was separated on the basis of religion. "At that time British India and many other monarchies came together to form a nation," he said.

    Opposing the Bill, Rao said that the government cannot break the Constitution and that the Bill alienates Muslims. Agreeing that minorities face persecution in neighbouring countries, he asked why there is a need to divide migrants on the basis of relief.

  • 14:08 (IST)

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    What Jinnah couldn't achieve, CAB and NRC sets out to do: SP 

     

    Samajwadi Party's Javed Ali Khan says, "What Jinnah couldn't achieve, the CAB and NRC have set out to do." He quotes Sardar Patel as saying that we are laying the foundation of a truly secular democracy. He reads out from Golwalkar's book and says this is programme that is being planned.

  • 14:03 (IST)

    Rajya Sabha Latest Updates

     

    JD(U) supports CAB in Rajya Sabha: 'Why are we talking about Indian minorities?'

    Ram Chandra Prasad Singh (JDU), rises to address the Rajya Sabha. "I am amazed at what the Bill states and what we are discussing. Why are we talking about Indian minorities? And our MPs are saying it's against the Preamble of Constitution. How is this against our Preamble? JD(U) supports Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019," he says.

Parliament LATEST Updates: The contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed by the Upper House on Wednesday with 125 votes in favour and 105 against.

Several amendments moved by Opposition MPs from the TMC, Congress, CPM, among other parties were rejected by the Rajya Sabha in the debate over the Citizenship Bill on Wednesday. Some MPs are asking Minister to accept those amendments as in good intent, but all are put to vote and defeated.

Former NDA ally Shiv Sena has reportedly walked out of the Rajya Sabha ahead of the votes on the amendments moved by Opposition members and the passage of the bill. On Tuesday, party chief Uddhav Thackeray said that the party wouldn't support the bill if their queries raised in the Lok Sabha were unanswered.

After the Upper House voted on whether to send the Citizenship Amendment Bill to a Select Committee, 113 MPs voted against the motion.

The members of the Rajya Sabha are currently voting on whether to send the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha at midnight on 10 December, should be sent to a Select Committee of the Upper House. The House will decide via the method of division of votes.

There was disruption in the Upper House during Home Minister Amit Shah's speech on the Citizenship Amendment Bill. In addition to the TMC party, the Congress protested Shah's statement in which he drew parallels between the speeches made by Congress MPs and Pakistani politicians like Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan.

"I don't know how this happens, but whatever the Congress MPs say, is echoed by Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and vice versa," he said.

TMC MPs Derek O Brien and Sukhendu Shekhar Roy raised objections in the Upper House against Home Minister Amit Shah's statement in which he named West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee's comment in 2005 objecting to infiltrators in Bengal.

The TMC MPs stated that the home minister is misleading. The MPs also engaged in an argument over raising a point of order with Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu.

"If you don't maintain order, I will be forced to ask the minister to conclude his statement and put the bill to vote," Naidu said.

Roy said, "No point can be made against someone holding a constitutional office, unless motion brought. A statement has been made against Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee."

In his response to the debate over CAB in the Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah indicated that the law to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh could be extended to other minorities.

"There is no appreciation of those included, but problem with Muslims being excluded. Though low possibilities of Muslims being oppressed in these three countries, but if that is the case, they can claim citizenship as per law.

"Over 560 Muslims from these countries already given," he said.

He also addressed Leader of Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad's argument that the Centre doesn't have "authentic records" on the number of persecuted minorities in the three countries, Shah said, "There is no data because they (refugees) are living as illegal occupants, because of you (Congress). But now they wont be, they will come ahead and become citizens and then we will show numbers in Parliament on how many benefitted."

Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would have never been needed if the Partition had been prevented during Independence in 1947. "Congress chose to divide the nation on the basis of religion," he said.

"Some members have said that the bill is unconstitutional and questioned its need. Some of them also said that there is a hidden agenda for political polarisation. I will answer all the questions one by one. But first, I would like to give a brief historical background to it."

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha, Ghulam Nabi Azad also opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday and questioned only the inclusion of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh in the bill. He also referred to the oppression faced by Muslim women in Afghanistan by the Taliban and said, "Who says that Muslims are not persecution in the countries you have chosen?"

"Why have Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and Myanmar been excluded?"

PDP MP in the Rajya Sabha, Mir Mohd Fayaz, in his speech opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, said that the proposed legislation sought to target the Muslim community. "Whether it is Triple Talaq or Article 370 or this bill, since this governemnt has been in power, the Muslim community is being targeted. Muslims won't come from Pakistan, Afghanistan, or Bangladesh, but what about Indian Muslims?

"We came to secular India in the hope of equality, rather goign to Muslim-majority Pakistan. I think my ancestors were wrong. In this country, now Muslims are being targeted and discriminated against."

Abdul Wahab, IUML MP also said, "The bill discriminates against Muslims and other persecuted minorities in India. If the bill gets passed with tyranny of majority, it will be final nail in coffin of Indian democracy. Urges government to withdraw it."

BJD and YSRCP MPs indicated their support for the CAB as the contentious bill was being debated in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. However, both parties appealed for changes to the current draft of the proposed law.

YSRCP MP V Vijaysai Reddy said, "Our party supports the Citizenship Amendment Bill. We believe in giving citizenship to those people who face persecution in their country and live in inhumane conditions. However, the government should consider giving citizenship to those minorities among the Muslim community such as Boras and Ahmedis and face persecution in their country.

BJD leader Prasanna Acharya was quoted by ANI as saying, "Our stand is the same as was in Lok Sabha. We are supporting the bill but we want certain amendments in the bill like including Sri Lanka in it."

Kamal Haasan, chief of Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM), weighed in on the discourse regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill even as the contentious bill was being debated in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

He said, "We have a duty to amend the Constitution if there was any error, but to attempt to amend a flawless Constitution is a betrayal. Centre's law and plan is akin to a crime of attempting surgery on a healthy person. Those who attempted and failed are trying again."

Congress leader Kapil Sibal slammed Home Minister Amit Shah's statements in the Lok Sabha when the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was being debated before it was passed with two-thirds majority.

Responding to Shah's comments that the Citizenship Bill wouldn't have been needed "if it weren't for the Congress", Sibal said, "I don't understand which history books the home minister has read. Two-nation theory is not our theory. It was perpetrated by Savarkar."

"This bill gives legal colour to the two-nation theory," Sibal said, adding, "Don't convert the secular republic of India into a Jurassic republic."

Shiv Sena MP Sanjay Raut, who was at the forefront of the party's "belligerent" stand against the BJP after the Maharashtra Assembly polls, said that a citizen's nationalism cannot be decided based on whether they support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or not.

Taking a jibe at the BJP, he said, "We don't need any certificate on our nationalism or Hindutva. Jis school mein aap padhte ho, hum us school ke head master hain (We [Shiv Sena] are the headmaster of the school you attend).

"Hamare school ke headmaster Balasaheb Thackeray the, Atal ji, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee bhi the, hum sabko mante hain (Our headmasters also include Balasaheb Thackeray, Atal [Bihari Vajpayee], Shyama Prasad Mukerjee; we follow all). I have been hearing since yesterday that those who do not support this Bill are anti-national and those who support it are nationalist."

Pointing out that India already has a Citizenship Act through which one can become a citizen, Congress' P Chidambaram, addressing the Rajya Sabha, said that the government bringing in this Bill makes this "process through arbitrary executive feat". He said that by moving this Bill for consideration and passage, the Parliament is being asked to do something unconstitutional. "This government is ramming through this Bill to advance its Hindutva agenda. This is a sad day. I am absolutely clear that this law will be struck off." "This will not stop here. It will eventually go to judges. So unelected lawyers and judges will decide and it will be a slap on our faces," Chidambaram said.

The former finance minister demanded that if the Attorney General was consulted before bringing in the Bill, he should be brought to the House to answer questions including why only three countries were included in the Bill's ambit and why no communities other than those named in the legislation have been considered. "Why has the Bill excluded Sri Lankan Hindus and Bhutanese Christians. Why just religious persecution, why not persecution on grounds of politics, linguistic?" he asked.

Ram Chandra Prasad Singh (JDU), rises to address the Rajya Sabha. "I am amazed at what the Bill states and what we are discussing. Why are we talking about Indian minorities? And our MPs are saying it's against the Preamble of Constitution. How is this against our Preamble? JD(U) supports Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019," he says.

TMC's Derek O'Brien addresses Rajya Sabha and compares Jews being called rats by Nazis and illegal immigrants being called termites by the Home Minister. "This is not about politics, but about authority and truth. In eight years, 2 crore people have lost their jobs. When you can't take care of people inside the country, how can you do this?" "1 crore people came from East Pakistan. It was linguistic persecution in the 1970s. These are all poor people who lost their documents in floods, violence. This will be written on the father of the nation's grave, and not in golden letters like the PM claimed. In Karachi, he says referring to Jinnah's grave."

BJP working president JP Nadda addressing the Rajya Sabha says he will lay out facts supporting the persecution of minorities in neighbouring countries. He asks the Opposition to let go of politics and think of the nation. He says the Bill does not violate Article 14 of the Constitution. He quotes Manmohan Singh speaking in the Rajya Sabha about the treatment of refugees after Partition. "Singh says that persecuted minorities should be granted citizenship," says Nadda. Amit Shah quips that the government is making true Singh’s words. Nadda says this Bill is in the interest of the nation.

Anand Sharma slams Centre for their urgency in getting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 passed. "Why the urgency with the Bill. We oppose this... The reason for opposition is not political but ideological. CAB is an assault on the foundation of the constitution. The bill is against the Preamble of the Constitution. This move in 2019 is an insult to our Constituion's founding fathers...you are insulting their wisdom. We have given shelter to people who came over from Pakistan post Partition. Two among them have been our prime ministers — Dr Manmohan Singh and IK Gujral," Anand Sharma said. "The citizenship act has seen amendments since 1955 but the fundamentals of this act has never been tampered with. You say we should rise above politics, but I request you to not politicise this matter," Sharma added. The Congress leader further added that the two-nation theory was never brought in by Jinnah, "it was introduced by Hindu Mahasabha in Gujarat in 1937."

Congress leader Anand Sharma raises to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Rajya Sabha and says that the foundation of this Bill is based on geographical boundaries. "It seeks to divide." What was Centre's rush in formulating this amended Bill, asks Sharma. The Congress leader demands to know that does the BJP think the founding fathers of this nation did not think of these things (excluding religious minorities from the amended bill)? "I, and my party, categorically oppose this Bill," says Sharma as it seeks to divide and is very against the fibre of India.

Addressing the Rajya Sabha over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Amit Shah said, "This is a government which believes in sabka saath, sabka vikaas." Shah says that Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was part of the BJP's manifesto and the victory means people have accepted the CAB. He says the manifesto says we will address the concerns of the northeast. He explains the salient features of the Bill. He claims the media is saying the Bill is anti-minorities and anti-Muslims. "Do you want Muslims in Pakistan to be granted Indian citizenship," he asks. Treasury Bench applauds him.

Shah said that the fears that many sections are spreading claiming that the CAB is against the minorities is a blatant lie and comes from a place of ignorance. "Under Narendra Modi, no Indian Muslim needs to be afraid," Shah said, while adding that the Centre has chosen three countries because it's not possible to give asylum to Muslims from all over the world. "How is it possible," said Shah.

The Rajya Sabha has started discussing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Home Minister Amit Shah addresses Upper House.  "This Bill is in order, there is no reason to demand reconsider debate on this Bill. The Lok Sabha has passed this Bill, and I have seen the legislation and it's in order," say Venkaiah Naidu even as Trinamool Congress called the bill "defective" because it "divides the nation on basis of religion".

Addressing the BJP Parliamentary meeting in New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the Bill will give permanent relief to people who fled religious persecution. Modi also said that the Opposition is speaking the language of Pakistan on the Bill, PTI reported, quoting sources. Modi said that the legislation "will be written in golden letters."

Minutes within convening, ruckus erupts in Rajya Sabha. Opposition members protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Despite several warnings from Venkaiah Naidu, the member continued to speak and in minutes live streaming of Rajya Sabha proceedings was stalled. Naidu told the members not to disrupt Zero Hour proceedings.

After the BJP parliamentary meeting, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said that the Citizenship Amendment Bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha at 12 pm today. He also hoped that the Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, will be passed in the Upper House with a comfortable majority. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said, "(PM) Modi said that Citizenship Amendment Bill will be written in golden letters for people who are persecuted on basis of religion."

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday termed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill an “attempt to ethnically cleanse the North East” hours before the Rajya Sabha debates the contentious legislation. Taking to Twitter, Rahul said: "The CAB is an attempt by Modi-Shah Govt to ethnically cleanse the North East. It is a criminal attack on the North East, their way of life and the idea of India. I stand in solidarity with the people of the North East and am at their service."

Home Minister Amit Shah will introduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The Bill looks at granting citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants who came to India on or before 31 Dcember, 2014 from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh after facing persecution in their countries.

The Lok Sabha passed the contentious bill on Monday with 311 votes in its favour, provoking widespread protests in the North East. Opposition parties, academics, authors and the intelligentsia demanded an immediate withdrawal of the Bill.

The Bill may face stronger opposition in Rajya Sabha than it did in the Lok Sabha, with the BJP not being in majority in the Upper House. Even as the saffron party expresses confidence in the passage of the bill, Shiv Sena has refused to support the bill while the JD(U) is divided in its backing of the legislation.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said on Tuesday that Shiv Sena would not back the Bill in the Rajya Sabha if its queries are not addressed by the government, while senior JD(U) leader Pavan K Varma echoed reservations expressed by his colleague Prashant Kishor over the Bill, and asked party president and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to “reconsider” its position.

Opposition members said they would “make them bleed” with the Trinamool Congress alone planning to move 20 amendments.

With the BJP’s 83 MPs and those of its allies, such as JD(U) and SAD (3) and others — regional parties such as AIADMK (11), BJD (7) and YSR Congress (2) are favourably inclined — the government is eyeing at least 128 votes in its support, without the Sena. This calculation leaves the Opposition, including Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, SP, Left parties and others — the TRS voted against the Bill in Lok Sabha — with 112 votes.

The BJP parliamentary party will also hold a meet ahead of the session's commencement.

The bill excludes areas in the North Eastern parts covered by the Inner Line Permit regime and the areas under the Sixth Schedule. Nagaland and Mizoram remain protected by the Inner Line Permit. Manipur too has been excluded in view of the people’s objections to the proposed bill.

Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad will be introducing the Personal Data Protection Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to protect privacy of individuals by protecting their personal data and how the data is used by different entities.

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Updated Date: Dec 11, 2019 21:22:32 IST