Home Minister Amit Shah is set to table Citizenship Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha. The bill grants citizenship right to non-Muslims refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have escaped religious persecution in these countries.
The bill was earlier introduced in January 2019 in Lok Sabha. Though it did not face any obstacle in Lok Sabha, government did not introduce it in Rajya Sabha due to the growing agitation against the bill the north-eastern states.
The bill has again triggered agitation in the north-eastern states. The citizens there feel that permanent settlement of immigrants will disturb the regions demography. However, in the current bill, government has made a provision to safeguard the interest of people of north-east India. The CAB will not apply to areas under the sixth schedule of the Constitution – which deals with autonomous tribal-dominated regions in Assam, Meghalaya, Tripura and Mizoram. The bill will also not apply to states that have the inner-line permit regime (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram).
Reaction of Opposition
Congress is set to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill in parliament as it considers the bill to be against the Constitution and secular fabric of the nation.
CPIM compared the bill to be like Jinnah’s “Two Nation Theory”. CPIM general secretary Sitharam Yechury considered the bill to be against the nation’s theory of Vasudaiva Kutumbakama. The party is set to move amendments seeking deletion of all the clauses which specify religion as the basis of giving citizenship.
Shiv Sena, a new opposition of Government on Monday questioned whether the intention of the bill was to "create a vote bank" and said it is not good for the country. In its mouthpiece “Saamna”, Sena put forward a question against the bill terming it, “Is it acceptable?” It must be noted that Shiv Sena had always favoured CAB till it was part of BJP alliance.
BJP has already issued a whip for its MPs to be present in parliament today. The bill is set to sail through Lok Sabha. However, in Rajya Sabha where BJP lacks majority, everything depends on regional parties like BJD, TRS, AIADMK who have stood with government in the past.