Cong divided India on the basis of religion: Shah

‘CAB has endorsement of India’s 130 cr citizens’

New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday launched a scathing attack on the Congress accusing it of dividing India on the basis of religion during its partition, and that the move made at that time, now led the government to bring Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
The Minister made the remarks during debate on the introduction of the Bill which seeks amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955, which was enacted to provide for the acquisition and determination of Indian citizenship.
“If the Congress had not divided the country on the basis of religion when India got freedom, there was no need to bring the (Citizenship Amendment) Bill,” Shah said.
The Minister accused the grand old party of “dividing the county on the basis of religion during partition”.
On a specific objection raised by the opposition on Jammu and Kashmir, Shah alleged “you don’t consider Kashmir as part of India”.
Following over an hour debate on the Bill’s legislative competence if it can be taken or not, the lower house passed it after division of votes with 293 in its favour and 82 against.
Introducing the Bill, the Home Minister rejected allegations of opposition members, saying, “I assure that the Bill does not violate any Article of the Indian Constitution and that any citizen will not be deprived of his/her rights”.
“Every citizen has been given place in the Bill on the basis of reasonable classification.”
He said that the Bill seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
The Bill further seeks to protect the constitutional guarantee given to indigenous populations of northeastern states covered under the sixth Schedule of the Constitution and the statutory protection given to areas covered under “The Inner Line” system of the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.
Meanwhile, Shah on Monday asserted that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, which seeks to give Indian nationality to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who were facing religious persecution there, has the endorsement of the people as it was part of the BJP manifesto.
Trying to allay apprehensions of the people of Northeastern region, Shah said the Narendra Modi government was committed to protect the customs and culture of the people of the region and informed that Manipur will be brought under Inner Line Permit regime. “Citizenship amendment bill has the endorsement of 130 crore citizens of the country as it was the part of the BJP manifesto in 2014 as well as 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he said, initiating the debate on the contentious bill. “We will have to differentiate between intruders and refugees. Citizenship amendment bill does not discriminate against anyone and does not snatch anyone’s rights,” he said. (PTI)

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