HTLS 2019: We have to run a country, not a dharamshala, says BJP lawmaker Jamyang Namgyal on Citizenship Amendment Bill
Citizenship Amendment Bill, cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday, is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 9.Updated: Dec 07, 2019 18:34 IST
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Jamyang Namgyal defended the government on the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), saying they have to run a country and not a dharamshala (shelter home).
“Every person in the government wants a strong country. And that is what we are trying to achieve. We are in government to run the country, and not a dharamshala. We will run India an empowered country,” Namgyal said during a discussion at Hindustan Times Leadership Summit 2019. Trinamool Congress leader Mahua Moitra and Congress leader Manish Tewari were the other panellists.
Moitra was first to attack the government for discriminating on the basis of religion through the bill. “Things which were said in private are being said openly now, after this government came to power. And they want to set it in stone through this bill,” she said.
When asked why people in other Opposition parties are supporting the bill, Moitra said, “This government is using the tools available to those in power—like snooping etc—to find something against politicians and are pressurising them to vote for CAB.”
Namgyal was quick to rebuff her claim saying no one pressured parliamentarians during the voting for scrapping of Article 370.
Watch: ‘Running nation, not dharamshala’: BJP MP on citizenship row
Tewari said while his party is in favour of an all-encompassing citizenship bill, they will oppose it in Parliament in its present form. “Something which is patently so unconstitutional, you have to be driven by partisan reasons to introduce legislation which fails on the first principle of the Indian Constitution. It is violative of Article 14, 15, 21 of the Constitution,” Tewari said.
The bill, cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday, is likely to be introduced in the Lok Sabha on December 9 and will be taken up for passage the next day, government sources said.
It seeks to grant citizenship to persecuted minorities - Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, Parsees, Sikhs and Christians - from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. After clearing Lok Sabha, the bill will go to Rajya Sabha or Upper House of Parliament.
The BJP-led National Democratic Alliance has an absolutely majority in the Lower house. The Opposition, which is stronger in the Rajya Sabha, hopes to stall the bill in the Upper house.
Speaking at the Hindustan Times Leadership Summit on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that Indian citizenship to those facing persecution in their home countries will ensure that they get a better tomorrow. “Hundreds of people from the neighbouring countries, who are facing persecution in these countries, those who have faith in Mother India, with the road open for Indian citizenship, their better future will be ensured,” Modi said in his first remarks on the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.