‘Attack on constitution’: Rahul Gandhi’s jab on citizenship bill supporters
The Citizenship Amendment Bill passed the Lower House 311-80 at 12.04am on Tuesday after a debate that began around 4.30pm.Updated: Dec 10, 2019 17:40 IST
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has attacked the Narendra Modi-led central government for the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday. He said the bill is an “attack on the Indian constitution”.
“The #CAB is an attack on the Indian constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation,” Gandhi said on Twitter.
The #CAB is an attack on the Indian constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation.— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) December 10, 2019
In the same tweet, Gandhi also criticised the parties who supported the bill and helped it sail through in the Lok Sabha. Home Minister Amit Shah tabled the bill in the Lower House of Parliament amid widespread protests by the Opposition. While NDA allies the JD(U) and the LJP extended support to the bill, fence sitters, including the BJD and the YSRCP also supported the bill while suggesting that Muslims should also be included in the bill.
The most important development came in the form of Shiv Sena’s support to the bill. The party had recently ditched its long-time ally BJP in Maharashtra and sided with Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) to form the government in Maharashtra.
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The party, however, clarified that its support to CAB does not mean any compromise on the common minimum programme on the basis of which it has formed the government in Maharashtra. “Shiv Sena has a different ideology. The Maha Vikas Aghadi in Maharashtra has formed an alliance on the basis of a common minimum programme (CMP), which will not get affected due to the difference in our ideologies,” NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan. Lok Sabha passed it with a majority of 311 votes against 80 votes in the Lower House where 391 members were present and voted.
Through this bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, to put an end to them being treated as illegal immigrants in the country.
The bill will now be tabled in Rajya Sabha or Upper House on Wednesday. In the Rajya Sabha, the Modi government requires the support of at least 123 MPs in the 245-member House to pass the bill.
Congress has issued three-line whip to its Rajya Sabha MPs to be present in the House tomorrow.
As per the calculations of the BJP’s floor managers, the effective strength of the Rajya Sabha is 238. The NDA’s current strength is 105 in the House, including 83 members of the BJP, six of Janata Dal (U), three of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one each from LJP and RPI(A) and 11 nominated MPs.
The BJP is in talks with AIADMK which has 11 members, the BJD with seven members, YSRCP with two members and TDP with two members, news agency PTI reported. The saffron party is confident of their support as all these parties had backed the bill in Lok Sabha, PTI said.
With support of these 22 members, the BJP-led NDA will have the support of 127 members in the House which is above the majority mark of 120.