As Assam burns, Parliament passes Citizenship Bill

Parliament, Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, religious persecution, citizenship, minorities, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, refugees, NDA, BJP, Shiv Sena, Congress
The Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed after an intense debate in Lok Sabha. Photo: Screen grab

The Rajya Sabha on Wednesday (December 11) passed the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with a large majority, paving way for members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to gain Indian citizenship.

On Wednesday, the Bill passed after an intense debate in Lok Sabha.

Speaking in reply to the debate Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, “We are here to solve the issues of the country. Why will this Bill be a move for political gain? We got the mandate. We have the government and the elections are not due for next 4.5 years. Whoever that criticised this Bill today, I request them to switch off all lights tonight, and sit alone with yourself and have an honest conversation with yourself. Ask yourself, ‘is this Bill really against people?’” said Home Minister Amit Shah.

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Also read | Assam, Tripura on the boil, Army called out to maintain peace

Earlier, Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the Bill had no loopholes and it was presented after studying its legal ramifications. “All bills of our government are brought in the House only after they are vetted by the law and legislative department,” said Prasad.

Tearing into the Bill, Congress leader P Chidambaram asserted that it was a sad day for India since elected Parliamentarians are being asked to do something unconstitutional. Chidambaram said, the bill will be challenged in the Supreme Court if it passes in the Parliament. “It’s a sad day that elected Parliamentarians are being asked to do something unconstitutional. The Bill is patently unconstitutional. Government says 130 crore people are supporting them, but the entire northeast is in flames. This Bill will be challenged in the Supreme Court if it passes in the Parliament. I am absolutely certain that the judges of SC will strike it down,” he said.

Also read | Internet cut in Tripura as anti-Citizenship Bill protests rock Northeast

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