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Citizenship Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha today; government confident

The bill piloted by Union Home Minister Amit Shah was comfortably passed in the Lok Sabha on late Monday night as the ruling BJP enjoys a clear majority in the house. Sources in the party said that the legislation will also sail through the Rajya Sabha as the ruling NDA has the numbers.

Updated: Dec 11, 2019, 08.59 AM IST
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Agencies
Rajya Sabha
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. The saffron party is confident of their support as all these parties had backed the bill in Lok Sabha.
NEW DELHI: Getting Rajya Sabha’s approval for the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) isn’t likely to be a major issue for the government as it appears to have the numbers in the House. But opposition parties have drawn up plans to corner the Narendra Modi dispensation on many aspects of the proposed legislation, which will be taken up on Wednesday.

While JDU after some dilly-dallying announced on Tuesday that it would support the bill, Shiv Sena, which voted in favour of the bill in the Lok Sabha, may either stage a walkout or vote against it.

JDU leader Bashistha Narain Singh said the party’s stand in the Upper House would be the same as it was in the Lok Sabha. However, Shiv Sena said its suggestions on the bill had not been met and, hence, it would oppose it. JDU has six members in the Rajya Sabha, while Sena has three.

Sena maintains that the issue of Sri Lankan Tamils should also be addressed. Other suggestions include not giving voting rights for the next 25 years to those given citizenship under this legislation. Sources said by opposing this bill in the Upper House, Sena was also giving a message to its new allies Congress and NCP who are voting against it.

During Rajya Sabha’s business advisory committee, Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu set aside six hours for debate and voting on the bill. The discussion, which will begin post-lunch, is likely to see Kapil Sibal of Congress as the first speaker after Union home minister Amit Shah makes a statement in the House. Trinamool Congress’ Derek O’Brien and Samajwadi Party’s Ram Gopal Yadav will be among the first few to present their views on the bill.
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“We are moving 19 amendments to the Citizenship Amendment Bill…. Government may have the numbers but this is a majority versus morality debate on the issue,” O’Brien said.

The opposition tally in the Rajya Sabha on this bill adds up to 100-odd members, while the NDA and friendly parties add up to about 123 members. The House’s current strength is 238.
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