Bill To Give Citizenship To Non-Muslim Immigrants Passed By Lok Sabha

09 January, 2019, 11:33 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • Activists of the Left Democratic Manch alliance hold placards as they take part in a rally in protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 in Guwahati. — AFP

"Our party was formed in 1985 with this promise of freeing Assam from illegal migrants from Bangladesh", AGP president Atul Bora said. The Congress has 25 seats while AGP has 14.

In July a draft registry left four million people off the list effectively rendering them stateless, drawing concern from human rights experts at the United Nations and rights groups.

He affirmed that the NESO would continue with its movement along with its federal units after the Rajya Sabha session.

Amid dissent from opposition, walkouts by Congress and Trinamool Congress, and allegations that the bill discriminated on religious lines, Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on Tuesday. "We tried to convince the Centre that the bill was against the Assam Accord and will nullify the ongoing updating of the National Register of Citizens", Bora told reporters after the meeting.

In the Lok Sabha, the Home Minister said leaders like former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Manmohan Singh have backed such a provision in the past. "After this, there is no question of remaining in the alliance".

The BJP has 12 legislators in the Neiphiu Rio-headed government in alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party.

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Sangma's comments are important because his party is an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP).

"In view of such protests, the committee is not convinced with the Ministry of Home Affairs' statement that there is no specific report on the unexpected demographic changes of certain North Eastern states, particularly Assam, due to the influx of migrants from Bangladesh", it said. Asked if the ministers have tendered their resignations, Bora said, "We will do that after reaching Guwahati".

Political parties in the North-East, especially regional outfits, allege that the Bill is an attempt to make illegal migrants eligible for Indian citizenship on the basis of religion.

However, in Tripura where the saffron brigade had wrested power just past year, it had no impact as well as the Barak Valley of Assam which has been supporting the contentious citizenship bill since its inception.

BJP Spokesperson Rupam Goswami said, "We have not got any information officially". They also burned effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. Bora also said that Singh was requested not to ignore public sentiments only for votes but it is unfortunate that they did not listen. The bill, if passed by both houses of the parliament, will grant citizenship to six identified minority communities namely, Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who came to India before 31 December 2014.

Members of the Tai Ahom Yuva Parishad cut their own skins with blades and wrote slogans on the road tarmac on the streets of Lakhimpur against the bill amid the 11-hour lock-down called by the Northeast Students' Organisation (NESO), All Assam Students' Union (AASU) and another 30 indigenous organisations. The state has been witnessing protests since the NDA government said it was going ahead with the controversial bill. The leaders, however, met Rajnath Singh.

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