BJP is confident of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill being passed by the Rajya Sabha
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be introduced for consideration and passing in the Rajya Sabha on December 11, reports suggest.
On December 9, the Bill piloted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah was comfortably passed in the Lok Sabha as the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) enjoys a clear majority in the House.
A report by news agency PTI cites BJP sources as saying that the legislation will also sail through the Rajya Sabha as the ruling National Democratic Alliance (NDA) has the numbers.
NDA's current strength is 105 in the House, including 83 members of the BJP, six of Janata Dal (United), three of Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD), one each from LJP and RPI(A) and 11 nominated Members of Parliament (MPs).
The BJP is in talks with All India Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK), which has 11 members, the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) with seven members, YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) with two members and Telugu Desam Party (TDP) with two members. The saffron party is confident of their support as all these parties had backed the bill in Lok Sabha.
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. While the full strength of the Rajya Sabha is 245, the current strength is 238. This makes 120 the majority mark.
The Bill seeks to amend Citizenship Act, 1955. According to the Bill, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
The Bill has triggered severe protests in the Northeast. Those opposing the Bill claim that it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.
To assuage feelings of tribals of the Northeast, where many feel that permanent settlement of illegal immigrants will disturb the region's demography, the Centre has made provisions under which the Bill will not be applicable in Inner Line Permit (ILP) areas and those tribal regions that are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Indian Constitution.(With inputs from PTI)