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Lok Sabha passes Citizenship Amendment Bill; Rajya Sabha test next
The Lok Sabha on Monday midnight gave the crucial nod to the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill by an overwhelming majority. As many as 311 members backed it and 80 MPs from Congress, Trinamool Congress and other opposition parties voted against it.
Several amendments from the opposition members were negated by division or voice votes.
In his spirited reply, Home Minister Amit Shah said in no way the new and revised bill will be contradicting or violating basic structures of the constitution.
The bill in its previous format was passed by the last Lok Sabha but could not reach the Rajya Sabha as the Lower House was dissolved and the draft law had lapsed.
Shah also said the BJP and the central government is firm about bringing in NRC norms across the country. “We do not need to make any background for this. Our manifesto is clear, we will have nationwide NRC,” the home minister said.
Shah tried to corner Congress and other opposition parties when he blamed the grand old party for partition. “It is a historic fact the Congress party had accepted the proposal for partition….,” he said adding perhaps the Citizenship Amendment Bill would not have been necessary today if the country was not partitioned on the basis of religion.
During the heated debate, Shah said the government move has endorsement of India’s 130 crore people.
While opposition parties including Congress, Trinamool and NCP expressed apprehension on the intent of the government, Shah for his part said, “We will have to differentiate between intruders and refugees”.
“Citizenship amendment bill does not discriminate against anyone,” he said.