BJP looks at number game as Amit Shah prepares to table CAB in Lok Sabha today

The home minister Amit Shah in the afternoon will introduce the Bill to amend the six-decade-old Citizenship Act and later in the day

New Delhi: The Union Home Minister Amit Shah is set to introduce the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha on Monday. The Bill will grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan escaping religious oppression there.

The home minister Amit Shah in the afternoon will introduce the Bill to amend the six-decade-old Citizenship Act and later in the day. The bill will be taken up for discussion and passage, according to the Lok Sabha’s List of Business for Monday.

Meanwhile, the Bill is likely to be passed by the Lok Sabha where the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a clear majority, it may hit a roadblock when it is tabled in the Rajya Sabha, where the Opposition which outnumbers the BJP has been staunchly against the Bill.

Last week, the Union Cabinet had, given its go-ahead to the Bill, prior to which Shah had met with various stakeholders and groups from the northeast, wherein the concerns pertaining to the indigenous northeastern population had been raised.

Members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship, according to the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019.

The tribals of Northeast India, where feeling that permanent settlement of illegal immigrants will disturb the region’s demography. The central government has made provisions under which the CAB will not be applicable in the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime areas and those tribal regions that are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.

According to the proposed draft, the bill will not be applicable to the tribal areas in four states Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and in the areas covered under the Inner Line, notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.

The CAB proposes to incorporate a sub-section (d) to Section 7, providing for cancellation of Overseas Citizens of India (OCI) registration where the OCI card-holder has breached any provision of the Citizenship Act or any other law in force.

In 2016, during the last winter session, the Lok Sabha had passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill. While the Bill awaited passage in the Rajya Sabha it had lapsed after the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. The Opposition had then raised objections against the proposed amendments as it excludes Muslims and minorities from Nepal and Sri Lanka.
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