Guwahati: The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is likely to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on December 9 and will be taken up for approval the next day. The Bill, which aims to provide citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, will be tabled in the Rajya Sabha upon passage by the Lower House of the Parliament.
While the Bill is most likely to be passed in the Lok Sabha due to government along with its allies having an overwhelming majority, the government is banking on the support of several non-aligned regional parties to get it passed in the Upper House.
The much-debated Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian nationality to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian refugees fleeing religious persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It may be recalled that the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in January this year but was stalled in the Upper House due to massive resentment by the opposition party. Several groups and organizations of the Northeast region have also stood firm against the Bill. Meanwhile, opposition, making its stand clear yet again on the contentious legislation, former Congress president and Wayanad MP Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the party will resist the Bill citing it to be ‘discriminatory’ in nature.
The Bill was cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday in this Winter Session. The amended bill approved by the cabinet exempted the Inner Line Permit (ILP) areas and those governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. However, the Bill does not completely or partially exempt Manipur, unlike all the North East, states from the purview of the law.
Recently, Home Minister Amit Shah, on the other hand, has assured to drive out all illegal immigrants across the country by 2024 before the Lok Sabha elections.