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BJP firm on bringing Citizenship Bill in Rajya Sabha

NDA’s overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha helped the government pass the bill in the winter session despite objections from opposition parties.

Jan 30, 2019, 07.13 AM IST
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While the northeast is opposed to the proposed law, parts of Assam support it.
New Delhi: The government will try to pass the citizenship amendment bill t this Parliament session which begins on Thursday. According to a BJP leader, the protests in northeast will not deter the government as the proposed legislation aims to prevent demographic changes across the country.

NDA’s overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha helped the government pass the bill in the winter session despite objections from opposition parties. The bill has gone through a Joint Committee of Parliament where BJP members could not reach a consensus with MPs from the Congress and the Left.

The government has only three days for legislative business in the session that ends on February 13. The remaining days will be kept apart for the President’s address, interim budget presentation and discussions on them.

“There are three ordinances, including one on triple talaq, which will have to be replaced by bills. The government will reach out to opposition for its cooperation,” MoS for parliamentary affairs Vijay Goel told ET. Other than the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, the Companies (Amendment) Bill and the Indian Medical Council (Amendment) Bill have to be passed to replace ordinances.

Asked about the unrest in the northeast over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, a senior BJP leader said the party’s recent wins in local body elections in Assam indicated people welcomed the bill though some politicians and parties were opposed to it. BJP ally AGP has walked out of the NDA over the issue.

BJP expects political dividends in other states over the citizenship issue in the Lok Sabha elections. While the northeast is opposed to the proposed law, parts of Assam support it. The bill seems to ban Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh from Indian citizenship, while those from other faiths would be eligible for it after residing six years in India. Party leaders maintain that its stand would help it politically. While the instant talaq bill is higher on the government priority list in the RS, it will also push for passage of the citizenship bill.

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