After a stormy, heated and extensive debate over the citizenship Amendment bill, 2019 which lasted for eight hours, the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, which seeks to amend the Citizenship Act 1955.
The Chairperson Venkaiah Naidu declared the bill cleared with 125 Ayes and 105 Noes.
The Bill seeks to relax conditions for acquiring citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It grants citizenship to minorities facing persecution from three neighbouring countries – but excludes Muslims.
Critics say the legislation undermines the country’s secular constitution by granting citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
It seeks to grant Indian nationality to Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs who fled the three countries before 2015.
“Muslim citizens of this country have no reason to worry,” Amit Shah, federal home minister, said in parliament. “This bill is intended to give citizenship, not take away citizenship.”
Several opposition lawmakers said the bill would be challenged in court.
“The bill is an assault on Indian Constitution and democracy. It hurts the soul of India. It fails the morality test,” Anand Sharma of the main opposition Indian National Congress party said.
What is the rationale behind the selection of certain religions & certain countries in the Citizenship Amendment Bill?: Leader of opposition in Rajya Sabha Shri Ghulam Nabi Azad.
Kapil Sibal on #CAB in RS: “Don’t convert the Indian republic into Jurassic republic where there are only two dinosaurs.”
Trinamool Congress MP Derek O Brien equated the CAB with the Nazi citizenship laws brought in Germany in 1933-34. Referring to elections speeches and statements of the Prime Minister and Home Minister, Brien said that the CAB was closely linked with NRC project.