RS passes Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019
Besides BJP; JD(U), SAD, AIADMK, BJD, TDP & YSR-Congress supported the legislation while Shiv Sena abstained
New Delhi: After a day-long debate, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday with 125 members voting in favour of the motion and 99 against it. Union Home minister Amit Shah tabled the contentious Bill in the Upper House, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha with a 311-80 margin at 12.02 am on Tuesday. He also sought to quell the Opposition's allegations which called the Bill anti-Muslim, saying that it will have no implications on Indian Muslims.
Earlier, the demand for referring the Bill to the Select Committee was negated.
The members of Shiv Sena, the latest Congress ally, were absent at the time of voting. The Janata Dal (United) voted for the Bill.
The Bill was passed with 125 votes in favour and 99 against it. Besides BJP, its allies such as JD-U and SAD, the legislation was supported by AIADMK, BJD, TDP and YSR-Congress.
The House rejected several amendments moved by Opposition members to the Bill, most by voice vote. The Bill was passed by Lok Sabha on Monday. It will now go to the President for his assent.
On why persecuted minorities from countries such as Sri Lanka were not part of the legislation, Shah said Tamils from the island country had been given Indian citizenship in the past and the present law is to tackle a specific problem.
Opposing the Bill, Kapil Sibal (Congress) said the CAB had a legal colour of the two-nation theory and added; religion couldn't be a factor in acquisition of citizenship.
Terming the CAB "blatantly unconstitutional", P Chidambaram (Congress) said the government was introducing a new category called citizenship by arbitrary executive feat.
"I dare the government to lay the opinion of the Law Department. I dare the government to invite the Attorney General to answer the questions. What we are doing today is breaking the Constitution from within. A small part of the Constitution is being racked and being demolished by these insidious people," Chidambaram said.
Severely criticising the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill by Parliament, Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Wednesday said it marks a "dark day" in the constitutional history of India and is a "victory of narrow-minded and bigoted forces" over the country's pluralism.
Taking a dig at the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Sanjay Raut (Sena) said that India's muscular and powerful government would finish Pakistan if they didn't like their language. "We have a very powerful government. If you do not like the language of Pakistan we should finish it," the Sena leader said.
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