BJP MPs give Modi standing ovation for CAB, he requests one for Karnataka
While Home Minister Amit Shah wasn’t present at the meeting, ahead of the bill being introduced in the Rajya Sabha, the Prime Minister also apologised for missing the last two meetings.Updated: Dec 11, 2019 12:09 IST
There were two standing ovations at the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s weekly Parliamentary Party meeting on Wednesday over the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in Parliament’s lower House - Lok Sabha - on Tuesday and the party’s performance in by-polls to 15 assembly seats in Karnataka, according to two people present at the gathering.
Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi first asked BJP lawmakers attending the meeting to stand up and applaud for Modi over the passage of the CAB in Lok Sabha. When the lawmakers got up, Modi intervened. “Do not give me a standing ovation. Please applaud the BJP in Karnataka and the people of the state for the excellent results,’’ he said.
The BJP on Monday swept the by-elections and won 12 of the 15 seats. It needed to win six of the 15 to stay in power.
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The second round of applause followed Modi’s comment.
Modi appreciated Joshi, a member of Parliament from Karnataka, for the results. “Where are the sweets?” he asked Joshi. “We must have sweets for everyone before Friday.”
Union home minister Amit Shah was not present at the meeting that was held ahead of the CAB’s introduction in Parliament’s upper House—Rajya Sabha— on Wednesday.
Modi also apologised for missing the last two meetings. “I was missing these meetings. It was because I was away in [poll-bound] Jharkhand [for campaigning] but now I am back,’’ he said.
Both Modi and Joshi reiterated the need for all lawmakers to be present for the vote on the bill in the upper House. A party whip has been issued over the same.
Modi told the lawmakers that the passage of the CAB in Lok Sabha is an incredible achievement. He added that what they have done in six months was not done for 70 years.
A booklet on the government’s achievements was also circulated among the lawmakers, who have been told to spread the good word.
“The Prime Minister seemed to be in a very good mood,’’ one of the two lawmakers cited above said on condition of anonymity.
Joshi told reporters after the meeting that the CAB would be passed with ease in the Rajya Sabha.
The CAB seeks to amend the 1955 Citizenship Act by bestowing citizenship to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians, Parsis and Jains who have entered India from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan on or before December 31, 2014.
Thousands of people blocked roads, burnt tyres, and damaged vehicles as massive street protests erupted across the north-east against the CAB on Tuesday. Many in the North-east feel the draft legislation will legitimise the influx of illegal immigrants into the region.