Parliament LATEST updates: The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in the Lower House at midnight on Tuesday with 311 votes in favour of the proposed legislation. 80 MPs voted against the bill in the division of votes.
In the prolonged debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday, among the Opposition MPs who objected to the bill, was Sikkim MP Indra Hang Subba of the Sikkim Krantikari Morcha party. He said that he was opposing the proposed law because Sikkim had not found a mention in Home Minister Amit Shah's speech when he spoke about exempting the North Eastern states from the CAB.
Mizoram MP S Lalrosanga said that the state had undergone "mental torture because of the CAB and it was weighing heavily" on the people and leaders of state, "cutting across party lines".
"I express gratitude to the prime minister and home minister for exempting Mizoram. I have one apprehension — when we pass a bill that will grant shelter to those facing religious persecution in three other countries, i want to ask authorities in the state and central governments to ensure that there is no religious persecution in our country. We must put down any sign of religious persecution in our own country," Lalrosanga said.
He added, "The home minister should please fulfill promises made to the North East on the floor of the House in the past, and bring them to reality. Because of our gratitude, we will be supporting this bill."
Citizenship bill will enable a new partition, said AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi in the Lok Sabha on Monday. "When the Constitution's preamble was being made, it was not initiated in the name of God. Look at the difference from then and now. Now we are bringing a law," he said.
"CAB and NRC connected, to make Muslims stateless," Owaisi added,"One third area of India has been taken over by China, we have given up Aksai Chin, why is the government scared of China?"
"This law is worse than Hitler's law also," he said.
NCP MP Supriya Sule, opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, said, "Home Minister Amit Shah said the Bill, which lapsed in the previous Lok Sabha, was discussed by a Joint Parliamentary Country and question regarding religion were discussed. But checking with the JPC report, we did not approve the current model of the Bill."
She also said that the "average Muslim" today was scared and worried. She also asked how the bill addresses atheists, who don't follow any religion.
She added, "Why is Nepal left out? People in Nepal, Sri Lanka, Myanmar also suffering atrocities. Please do not make anyone stateless in your own country."
She also said that the bill will be struck down in Supreme Court. "What is point of discussion?" she asked.
YSRCP MP Midhun Reddy, extending support for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday, said that the ruling party in Andhra Pradesh believes in "religious harmony and in transparent governance". However, he said, the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led party had concerns regarding the exclusion of Muslims in the bill.
"Bill will bring relief to those suffering, but excludes Muslims. Even in Pakistan, some Muslim sects like Ahmadias, suffer," he said.
TMC MP Abhishek Banerjee referred to the ideology of Swami Vivekananda and said that "had he been alive, he would have been appaled that we are having this discussion on this bill."
He also said that the bill goes against Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel definition of unity. "It would be distasterous if we do not uphold the ideals of Mahatma Gandhi, Patel, Vivekananda. It is causing me great anguish and pain. Our India is all about peace. But your idea of India is all about lynchings. Our India is inclusive, your India is divisive," he said.
"Why limit this to only three countries. Sri Lanka is there, Myanmar was part of British India. Why don't you consider them? Because they don't serve your political hunger. NRC was a disaster. It failed in one state and now you want to do it all over India," he added.
He also listed examples of the bill's failure in Assam, and asked who would be responsible for the deaths. "The CAB is anti-India, anti-Bengali also," he said.
DMK MP Dayanidhi Maran, opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Monday in the Lok Sabha said that the proposed law moved by Home Minister Amit Shah was "half-hearted" because Sri Lankan Tamils had not found a mention in the bill. "The government is preoccupied with its hatred for Muslims," he said.
He added that he comes from a state where the right-wing party was not voted to power, The Hindu reported. "The north and the south think differently when it comes to the Bill," he added.
"You have not done anything so far to win support of minorities or to give them comfort. Are you the Home Minister only for North India or all of India? There was no mention of Christians in the CAB in the BJP's election manifesto, so I want to ask why the party is seeking to divide the minorities in the country.
"You say that Kashmir is part of India, will you give citizenship to Muslims who fleeing from Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir to India? No, because you have one stand — we dont want Muslims," he said.
Congress MP Manish Tewari was the first of the Opposition to speak in the debate over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 moved in the Lower House by Home Minister Amit Shah. Strongly opposing the bill that has been termed as "communal" by most of the Opposition, Tewari said, "This is against Article 14, 15, 21, 25, and 26 of the Indian Constitution. This bill is unconstitutional and against basic right of equality. This bill is also a violation of the basic structure of the Constitution as established in the Keshvananda Bharati case."
"If you can't discriminate against a citizen because of Article 15, can the government discriminate while providing the citizenship? Government must answer this. Additionally, according to international law, any refugee that comes seeking asylum to India, regardless of the religion, they must be given assisstance." he added.
We have addressed the concerns of the North East residents in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Home Minister Amit Shah said, kickstarting the debate on the contentious proposed legislation in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
"In 1947, all refugees who came to India were accepted by the Indian Constitution, there was hardly any region of the country where refugees from West and East Pakistan didn't settle. From Manmohan Singh ji to LK Advani ji, all belong to this category," Shah said, while making his case.
He then proceeded to elaborate on the provisions in the bill.
Home Minister Amit Shah began the debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on Monday. Earlier, he moved to introduce the bill in the Lok Sabha.
The bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there.
Addressing the Opposition's concerns over "religion-based" law, Shah said, "There are talks of a 'political agenda', of singling out a community, but I want to assure the House that there will be no injustice. There will only be justice, that too for those who have been waiting for justice for 70 years.
"When it comes to political agenda, I want to say: All parties contest elections, and all prepare a manifesto. If the party wins, those promises are followed through. That is what the BJP is doing. The election should be fought not only on a neta's personality, but on the party's ideology and its manifesto," he added.
"Minorities are the priority of the Opposition. I have often heard them say that minorities should get special treatment. So shouldn't Pakistan's, Bangladesh's, and Afghanistan's minorities be given special treatment? Am I the one being partial or are they?"
In the discussion over the Arms (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday, while Arvind Sawant, a Shiv Sena MP questioned whether there was information about those with gun licenses having being convicted of "serious" crimes, NDA ally JD(U) said that the law was not enough, reports said.
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was introduced in Lok Sabha after 293 MPs voted in its favour after a division was ordered. It is likely to be taken up for discussion from 3.30 pm, CNN-News18 reported.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday introduced in the Lok Sabha the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there. "This is a regressive, targeted legislation. It targets the minority," says Congress' Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board asked for inclusion of community in Citizenship Amendment Bill, even as shutdown and protests were conducted in Delhi and Assam. Congress and IUML also protested the contentious Bill.
Lok Sabha MPs from the BJP also demanded an apology from and the suspension of two Congress lawmakers who had charged towards Smriti irani on 6 December when she was talking about the Unnao rape case.
In the Rajya Sabha, MPs discussed the Delhi Anaj Mandi fire on Sunday, which claimed 43 lives.
Shah is also slated to move The Arms (Amendment)Bill, 2019 for further discussions. This bill was introduced in Lok Sabha by Shah on 29 November. The Bill seeks to amend the Arms Act, 1959, to decrease the number of licensed firearms allowed per person and increase penalties for certain offences under the Act. It also introduces new categories of offences
Meanwhile, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) will move two major amendments against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in both Houses of the Parliament today. CPI(M) demands to delete references to the mentioned countries in the bill and replace them with "all neighbouring countries". CPI(M) also wants all references to religions to be removed.
Parliament of India. PTI
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) will move two major amendments against the Citizenship Amendment Bill in both Houses of the Parliament today. CPI(M) demands to delete references to the mentioned countries in the bill and replace them with "all neighbouring countries". CPI(M) also wants all references to religions to be removed.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill has triggered widespread protests in northeastern states with a large section of people and organisations opposing the Bill, saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed 24 March, 1971, as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.
The influential North East Students' Organisation (NESO) calling an 11-hour bandh on 10 December in the region.
Members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till 31 December, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship, according to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), 2019.
According to the proposed legislation, the amendment will not be applicable to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and in the areas covered under The Inner Line, notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. The ILP regime is applicable in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.
The Bill also proposes to incorporate a sub-section (d) to Section 7, providing for cancellation of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) registration where the OCI card-holder has violated any provision of the Citizenship Act or any other law in force.
However, the cancellation order shall not be passed unless the OCI card-holder has been given a reasonable opportunity to be heard. This amendment was also proposed in the 2016.
The Bill was an election promise of the BJP in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The BJP-led NDA government had introduced the Bill in its previous tenure and got the Lok Sabha's approval. But it did not introduce it in the Rajya Sabha, apparently due to vehement protests in the Northeast.
That Bill lapsed following the dissolution of the last Lok Sabha.
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