The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed the scrutiny of Rajya Sabha on Wednesday after a seven hours-long debate. The bill amassed 125 votes in favour of it and 99 against it in the Rajya Sabha. Notably, the bill was pass amid widespread protest against the same across Northeast India.
For the unknown, the ruling BJP managed to pass the bill despite not having a majority in the Rajya Sabha. This comes two days after the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with the support of 334 MPs in the house where the government enjoys a brute majority.
Oppositions, on the other hand, have slammed the bill and the BJP government claiming that it discriminates against Muslim migrants of the country. “I am convinced this bill is an assault on the very foundation of the Constitution of India. It hurts the very soul of the Constitution of India. It goes against the very preamble of the constitution,” Congress leader Anand Sharma had said.
Meanwhile, Union Minister Amit Shah slammed the opposition, quoting that the Muslim minorities are not being targeted. “They are and will remain citizens of the country,” Amit Shah said.
Opposition leaders claim that the bill can never survive judicial scrutiny when pleas against it reach the Supreme Court.
Shiv Sena Walkout
Interestingly, Uddhav Thackeray-led Shiv Sena, which broke its alliance with the BJP in Maharashtra last month, walked out of the Rajya Sabha ahead of voting on the bill.
Shiv Sena had earlier supported the bill and voted in favour of it in the Lok Sabha. The bill is in the “larger interests of the country,” Shiv Sena had said. With not supporting the bill in the Rajya Sabha, Shiv Sena had surely ditched its Hindutva notion, which it proudly flaunts.
With the Bill getting a positive nod in the Rajya Sabha, now minorities including Jains, Sikhs, Hindus, Parsis, and Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, can apply for Indian citizenship.