Citizenship Amendment Bill debate: Muslims in India don’t need to worry, says Amit Shah

With the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) coming up for discussion today, the Rajya Sabha is headed for a hectic day with a heated debate between the government and the Opposition over the controversial bill. The Citizenship Amendment Bill was mainly passed by the Lok Sabha on Monday. Since the BJP-led NDA enjoys a whopping majority in the Lok Sabha, passing CAB there was never a challenge for the Narendra Modi government.

However, the battle in the Rajya Sabha is different. In the Lok Sabha, the BJP alone has more than 300 MPs while the half-way mark is 272. But in the Rajya Sabha, the BJP, even with the support of its NDA partners, falls short of the halfway mark.

Through this bill, once it becomes law, the Narendra Modi government is going to give legal status to these provisions which will give the minorities an honorable life, the Home Minister said.
“No Muslim in India needs to worry due to this bill. Don’t get scared if someone tries to scare you. This is Narendra Modi’s government working according to Constitution, minorities will get full protection,” Shah said.

As the debate progressed, Congress leader Anand Sharma reiterated his party’s stand that the bill is an attack on the foundation of the Indian constitution. “The bill that you have brought is an assault on the very foundation of the Indian constitution, it is an assault on the Republic of India. It hurts the soul of India. It is against our constitution and democracy. It fails the morality test,” he said.

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The government is planning to make the Citizenship Bill a law by getting it passed through the Rajya Sabha or Upper House of Parliament. It has already cleared the Lok Sabha; the debate there was fierce and Shah successfully defended all the allegations leveled by the Opposition against the bill.

The Lok Sabha passed the bill with 311 members voting for it and 80 against it.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday made a renewed pitch for the bill’s enactment. Hours before its tabling in Rajya Sabha, PM Modi said that the legislation would give permanent relief to people who fled religious persecution from three countries in India’s neighborhood: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
The bill, PM Modi told his party’s lawmakers from the two Houses, will be written in golden letters.