Citizenship Bill to be introduced in Lok Sabha on Monday

The amended Citizenship Act allows citizenship rights for persecuted minorities from three countries — Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan — except those belonging to the Muslim community. Representational image: iStock

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 9 and will be taken up for passage the next day, official sources said on Thursday (December 5).

The bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there, will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha after being dealt with by the Lower House of Parliament.

Its passage in the Lok Sabha is certain due to the massive majority the BJP and its allies have, and the Union government is confident of its passage in the Rajya Sabha as well with the support of several non-aligned regional parties which have often joined the treasury benches in the past.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said that the party will oppose the Bill aimed at providing citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. His statement came as the Union Cabinet on Wednesday (December 4) gave its clearance to the draft law.

“Congress party is against any form of discrimination against anybody in this country. So, anybody who discriminates against anybody who is Indian, we are against them. That is our line. We believe that India belongs to everybody-all communities, all religions, all cultures,” Gandhi told reporters.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has been slammed by several opposition parties as communal and divisive. The Congress has threatened to go to the Supreme Court to challenge the proposed legislation.

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