GUWAHATI, Nov 17: Tabling the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, and getting it passed will be on top of the Central Government’s priority list in the Winter Session of Parliament that begins tomorrow (Nov 18). The bill has already been included in the schedule of Parliament for the upcoming session.
The legislation seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan fleeing their respective countries following religious persecution by amending the Citizenship Act, 1955.
Although the bill was passed in Lok Sabha on Jan 8 this year, it was not tabled in the upper house of Parliament following protests in Assam and the Northeast. The bill lapsed after Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die in February prior to the general elections.
Incidentally, despite protests across Assam and in other parts of the Northeast, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had announced in Guwahati that the Centre was committed to passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill but said the interests of indigenous communities would be protected. He had also announced that the government would table the bill during the Winter Session.
The AASU and the AJYCP, meanwhile, threatened massive protests against the legislation and flayed the Government for planning to re-introduce the bill in Parliament.