Either remove Bangladesh from Bill or keep Assam outside purview of Bill: Kalita
GUWAHATI: The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has inched a step forward for its passage with the objections and suggestions raised by the fewer Opposition members at the JPC (Joint Parliamentary Committee) meeting rejected through voting.
The crucial meeting of the JPC was held on Monday in New Delhi with its chairman Rajendra Prasad Agrawal in the chair. The main objections and suggestions from the Opposition members in the JPC were – either deletion of ‘Bangladesh’ from the list of neighbouring countries or deletion of Assam from the purview of the Bill. When the fewer Opposition members present at the meeting raised their objections, the chairman opted to put the issues to vote. The issues raised by the opposition members were rejected on the basis of the number of votes. With this voting, the controversial Bill has moved a step forward towards its passage in Parliament.
Meanwhile, an IANS report from New Delhi adds that the JPC is likely to submit its report by January 7, 2019 during the present session. “Today we had a clause-by-clause discussion on the Bill. Some of the proposed amendments were considered, some were rejected. We’re aiming to table the report by January 7," Agarwal told IANS after the meet.
According to sources, the JPC is going to hold a meeting on January 3, 2019 when the Chairman is going to lay the draft report of the committee. The JPC is going to submit the report to the Parliament, maybe, during the ongoing winter session.
JPC member and Congress MP Bhubaneswar Kalita, who was also present at the meeting, told The Sentinel: “We were fewer in number. The Trinamool Congress had two and the Congress had three, besides a few others. Many opposition members were absent at the JPC meeting. We raised our objections. However, we’ve been outnumbered in the voting. We haven’t let the issue off the hook. We’ll try our best to add our suggestions to the draft report at the meeting slated for January 3.”
Meanwhile, reacting to the development sharply, AASU (All Assam Students’ Union) president Dipanko Kumar Nath said: “The indigenous people of Assam and other States in the Northeast have been protesting against the move to introduce the controversial Bill in Parliament. Amidst such protests the BJP-led government has been bent on introducing the Bill in Parliament, forcibly. The government is ready to go to any extent to introduce the Bill in Parliament. Maybe, the government is more interested in protecting the interests of Bangladeshi Hindus than those of the indigenous people of Assam and the entire Northeast. The outcome of such an insistence will be disastrous. They – Dispur and New Delhi – will have to face the music.”