The Bill is now set to be tabled in Parliament for consideration and passing, possibly next week
The Union Cabinet cleared the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) on December 4. The Bill is now set to be tabled in Parliament for consideration and passage.
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders had hinted earlier that the contentious Bill could be introduced in the Winter Session. Reports suggest the Bill could be introduced in Parliament next week.
The Bill seeks to amend Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document.
It was passed by the 16th Lok Sabha on January 8. However, it was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha and had later lapsed.
BJP and its affiliates have insisted that minorities from the three countries, which include a significant number of Hindus, should be granted Indian citizenship.
The opposition has raised objection over the Bill. Many political parties, including BJP allies especially in the northeast have openly raised concerns.
The All Assam Students Union (AASU) said the proposed legislation could affect the indigenous people of the northeast. The Indian National Congress, Trinamool Congress, Communist Party of India (Marxist), among others, have been opposing the bill, claiming that citizenship cannot be given on the basis of religion.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah had, on December 3, held discussions with representatives of students' bodies and civil society groups of Assam on the proposed legislation, according to news agency PTI. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal was also present at the meeting.
There were reports that the government would re-draft the Bill to incorporate changes in order to address concerns. It was immediately unclear if the significant changes had been made to the Bill that was cleared by the Cabinet.
Meanwhile, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), on December 3, asked its Members of Parliament (MPs) to be present in Parliament in the coming days.
BJP orders MPs to be present in ParliamentThe party leadership underscored the significance of the Bill by equating its importance with the move to nullify provisions of Article 370. Senior leader and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh asked fellow party MPs to be present in large numbers when Home Minister Amit Shah tables it in Parliament. As per a PTI report, Singh also underlined Prime Minister Narendra Modi's dissatisfaction over lack of their adequate presence in Parliament many times.Get access to India's fastest growing financial subscriptions service Moneycontrol Pro for as little as Rs 599 for first year. Use the code "GETPRO". Moneycontrol Pro offers you all the information you need for wealth creation including actionable investment ideas, independent research and insights & analysis For more information, check out the Moneycontrol website or mobile app.