Citizenship Amendment Bill is all set to become Act after Clearing Rajya Sabha Test
New Delhi: The historical day when Rajya Sabha finally made a day on Wednesday approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), completing the legislative procedure for giving Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
After taking about a six-and-a-half-hour long debate on the Bill, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said and described that the legislation seeks to provide citizenship rights to persecuted minorities of the three countries and not take away citizenship rights of anyone. He basically rejected the Opposition charge that the Bill was against Muslims and said they have nothing to fear.
The Bill was mainly passed with 125 votes in favor and 105 against it. Besides BJP, its allies such as the Janata Dal (United) (JDU) and Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), the legislation was supported by the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Telugu Desam Party (TDP) and the YSR Congress.
The legislation sailed through even as Assam and its neighboring states in the Northeast witnessed intense protests on Wednesday over the hugely emotive
Bill. Guwahati was placed under indefinite curfew and mobile internet services were cut off for 24 hours beginning 7 pm on Wednesday, with Tripura already facing a 48-hour internet blockade.
The House earlier rejected motions to send the bill to a select committee, with 124 members voting against it as compared to 99 in its favor. It also rejected several amendments moved by opposition members, most by voice vote.
The Bill was basically passed by Lok Sabha on Monday. It will also now go to the President for his assent.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi mainly described Bill’s passage as a "landmark day" for India and its ethos of compassion and brotherhood. The Bill will always "alleviate sufferings of many who faced persecution for years", he wrote on Twitter.
Modi always expressed gratitude to all members of Rajya Sabha who voted in favor.
The BJP cheered the passage of the Bill, with its top leaders hailing the proposed law as "historic" legislation that has made the dreams of crores of deprived and victimized people come "true".
Soon after the passage, Shah said in a tweet: “Grateful to PM Narendra Modi for his resolve to ensure dignity and safety for these affected people. I thank everyone for their support."
BJP working president JP Nadda called it historic legislation that will do justice to the minorities of the neighboring countries who faced religious persecution. It will provide minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan facing religious persecution an opportunity to lead a dignified life in India, he said.
"These minorities of the neighboring country were displaced, and have been facing the brunt of injustice for a long time. They got justice today through the efforts of the Modi government," he said.
Union minister and former BJP president Nitin Gadkari said the Bill, which is set to become part of the citizenship law, will be a source of strength for the deprived.