Published: Wed, January 09, 2019
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Citizenship Amendment Bill passed in Lok Sabha

Citizenship Amendment Bill passed in Lok Sabha

Renowned singer, Zubeen Garg has severely criticized Assam Chief Minister, Sarbananda Sonowal for the Controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The IPFT is also a member of Bharatiya Janata Party-led alliance NEDA (North East Democratic Alliance), convener of which is BJP-led Assam government's powerful minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.

BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab said in his dissent note that the bill contravenes the provisions of the principal Act and goes against the spirit of the Assam Accord.

The Union Cabinet on Monday cleared the redrafted Citizenship Amendment Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, officials said.

The bill is unlikely to pass the upper house of Parliament, which isn't controlled by the ruling party.

Protests have erupted in recent months and on Monday in Assam, where a movement against illegal immigrants, of all religions, from Bangladesh has simmered for decades, with some residents blaming them for eating into their resources and job opportunities.

"The BJP-led government was formed in Assam on the basis of a pre-poll alliance with the AGP. But Singh told us clearly that it will be passed in Lok Sabha tomorrow", Bora said, adding Singh was requested not to ignore the public sentiment only for votes but it is unfortunate that they did not listen. The Home Minister said the Union Cabinet has also approved the grant of ST status to six communities of Assam, namely Tai Ahom, Koch Rajbongshi, Chutia, Tea Tribes, Moran, and Matak.

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The Bill seeks to enable Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh without valid travel documents or those whose valid documents expired in recent years to acquire Indian citizenship through the process of naturalization. Even the governments of Meghalaya and Mizoram have opposed the bill adopting resolutions against it.

Critics say the bill, which offers preferential treatment to certain groups seeking citizenship, is a transparent pitch to voters as Hindu-majority India prepares for the world's largest election.

"Let us all join hands to find an acceptable, rational and practical solution to this important issue", Sonowal said. "The State has since India's independence absorbed waves of migrants from present day Bangladesh and can no longer do so", AGP president Atul Bora said after returning from New Delhi on Tuesday morning.

Assam Police personnel remove black flags from Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) activists protesting with 69 other indigenous organisations of Assam during a demonstration against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016. Assam's people will never allow this bill to be implemented.

"We, therefore, can not remain an ally of the BJP after this move by the Modi government". "But the BJP has made a decision to go ahead with the Bill, leaving us with no option but to quit the alliance", Mr Bora said after meeting Mr Singh. As the government did not heed to the demand, the Congress staged a walkout.

Roy said there was no effort to evolve a consensus in the Joint Committee of Parliament that examined the Bill.

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