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Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to be tabled in Parl on Monday

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to be tabled in Parl on Monday

New Delhi: The contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 will finally be tabled on the Floor of the House on Monday with Union Home minister Amit Shah introducing it in the Lok Sabha.

"In the Citizenship Act, 1955, in Section 2 in sub-section (i), in clause (b) the following proviso shall be inserted namely:- "provided that any person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, who entered into India on or before the 31st day of December 2014 and who has been exempted by the central government by or under clause (c) of sub-section (2) of section 3 of the passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 or from the application of the provisions of the Foreigners Act 1946 or any rule or order made thereunder shall not be treated as illegal migrants for the purposes of this Act," the Bill said.

Adding further: "... the person belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian community in Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan, the aggregate period of residence or service of Government in India as required... shall be read as "not less than five years" in place of "not less than 11 years"." The Bill will be implemented immediately after it gets passed. The CAB has generated widespread protest and disagreements in states, especially in the North-east. However, 6B section of the Bill emphasises: "Nothing shall apply to the tribal area of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram or Tripura as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution and the area covered under 'The Inner Line' notified under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873."

Meanwhile, the Opposition is leaving no stones unturned to attack the ruling BJP-led NDA government on this new Amendment Bill.

On Friday, the TMC called the Bill "anti-constitutional". "The CAB hurts the very soul of India. It is very discriminatory. Our leader Mamata Banerjee has already categorically said NRC will not be implemented in the state of West Bengal. This Bill is against tribals. Gorkhas have been left out in the NRC. Both the NRC and CAB are interlinked. NRC has caused a great disaster in Assam. CAB is an attempt for damage control," TMC Rajya Sabha leader Derek O'Brien mentioned while talking to the media.

The party has also decided on the two speakers who would speak on the issue in both the Houses. On Tuesday, there will a discussion on CAB for four hours in the Lok Sabha, sources said. TMC leader and Lower House member from Diamond Harbour constituency Abhishek Banerjee will speak during the discussion whereas Derek O'Brien will speak in Rajya Sabha. BJP chief whip Sanjay Jaiswal also issued a three-line whip to all its Lok Sabha members to be present from Monday (December 9, 2019) to Wednesday (December 11, 2019) asking to "support the government's stand." According to sources, the BJD and AIADMK will support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Shiv Sena has not clarified its stand yet. Reportedly, the party is not likely to support the Bill.

Simontini Bhattacharjee

Simontini Bhattacharjee

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