Developed By: iNFOTYKE
Cabinet nod for CAB likely today
NEW DELHI: The BJP leadership on Tuesday underscored the significance of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill by equating its importance with the move to nullify Article 370 provisions, with senior leader Rajnath Singh asking party MPs to be present in large numbers when Home Minister Amit Shah tables the bill, which is likely to be cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday.
The bill is likely to be tabled in Parliament next week.
Rejecting the opposition’s criticism of the Citizenship Bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there, Singh asserted that the BJP has always worked to unite the country and its people.
Sources said Singh also made a reference to the charge that the bill was against secularism as its beneficiaries excluded Muslims. He said the three neighbouring countries were essentially Islamic nations and so it is non-Muslims and not Muslims who are at the receiving end of religious persecution there.
BJP MPs must be present in Parliament in large numbers when Shah tables the bill, which is likely to be cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, he said.
In Parliament next week
Despite opposition in the North East, the Centre is likely to bring the controversial bill in Parliament next week after the end of talks with groups from the region.
Shah has already held talks with all the North East chief ministers. He has indicated that the cut- off date might be altered and the Sixth Schedule and Inner Line Permit areas might be exempted from the purview of the bill.
But that has not cut any ice since once a person from the neighbouring countries is granted citizenship he or she can move and settle anywhere, including in NE states, the leaders argued.
Even in BJP-ruled Assam, the proposed amendment has raised concerns as it would nullify the 1985
Assam Accord, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants
irrespective of religion. Similarly, there has been opposition in Mizoram because the amendment would make Buddhist Chakma refugees Indian citizens.
Protests have taken place in most parts of North East, including Meghalaya, against the bill.
Shah’s engagement with socio-cultural, student and political groups is to understand their objections to and apprehensions about the proposed amendment, sources said.
The government is confident of steering the bill through both Houses, but it is apprehensive of possible public protests in some of the Northeastern states like last year. (With agency inputs)