Amit Shah said the Bill isn’t against any Article of the Constitution and added that the Right to Equality will not be affected by it
New Delhi: On Monday Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the contentious citizenship amendment bill in the Lok Sabha amid protests by the Congress MPs that have called the legislative proposal “nothing but legislation targeted against minorities”. Amit Shah promptly contested the charge, insisting that “this bill is not against minorities of this nation” but against infiltrators.
Shah assured the opposition that he will answer all their questions on the Citizenship Bill. “I will answer all questions on the Bill. Till then, don’t walk out,”.
Congress leader, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said the Citizenship Amendment Bill is nothing but “targeted legislation” against minorities. Home minister Amit Shah then said that the Bill is not even “.001% against minorities in the country”.
Amit Shah said the Bill isn’t against any Article of the Constitution and added that the Right to Equality will not be affected by it.
“Indira Gandhi had decided to give citizenship to everyone who came from Bangladesh in 1971. Why weren’t people from Pakistan given Citizenship then? Even after 1971, minorities have been continuously persecuted in Bangladesh. The genocide hasn’t stopped,” Shah said.
Meanwhile, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi appealed to Lok Sabha speaker Om Birla to “save the country” from such a law. “I appeal to you, save India from such a law and save home minister Amit Shah also otherwise like in Nuremberg race laws and Israel’s citizenship act or else home minister’s name will be featured with Adolf Hitler and David Ben-Gurion,”.
The Bill proposes Indian citizenship for non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. People from these neighboring countries who have entered India on or before December 31, 2014, and belong to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities will be eligible for citizenship.
There have been protests in the north-eastern states against the controversial bill. Student organizations, civil society groups and opposition parties in the region have said that the Bill will lead to an influx of minorities.
Last week, the Union Cabinet had cleared the Citizenship Amendment Bill paving the way for it to be tabled in Parliament.
Congress had decided to oppose the CAB strongly. Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, after a meeting at Congress president Sonia Gandhi’s residence, said Congress will oppose the bill as it is against the Constitution, secular ethos, tradition, culture, and civilization.
CPI(M) general secretary, Sitaram Yechury said his party will move two amendments on the bill when it is introduced in the Lok Sabha. He said all religions must be treated equally in a diverse country like India.
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