Odisha’s ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) extended its support to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which was tabled in the Rajya Sabha Wednesday (11 December) by Union Home Minister Amit Shah.
While reiterating their support to the Bill, BJD leader Prasanna Acharya, however, demanded that refugees from Sri Lanka be also added in the legislation. The party has seven members in the House.
“Our stand is the same as was in Lok Sabha. We are supporting the bill but we want certain amendments in the bill like including Sri Lanka in it,” he was quoted as saying by news agency ANI.
Jagan Mohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party (YSRCP), which has two members in the Upper House, is also in support of the CAB. Rajya Sabha member V Vijaysai Reddy, while speaking in the House, iterated his party’s stance on the Bill.
“On behalf of my party, I support the bill,” he said, while raising concerns about national security as he believed the move could be encouraging to influx the ulterior motives.
He also put forth some suggestions to the Bill, one of them being the inclusion of minorities within the Muslim community such as Ahmadiyya and Bohra sections. These communities are believed to be long-persecuted in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. “The government of India should possibly consider their request, if they want to settle down in India,” he uttered.
The Telugu Desam Party (TDP) a former alliance partner of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has also come out in favour of the Bill. Chandra Babu Naidu’s TDP has two members in Rajya Sabha.
The support from these parties becomes crucial as BJP does not enjoy majority in the Upper House. BJP, along with its 83 members, reaches 108 with the support of all its NDA allies.
However, with the support of TDP, YSRCP, and BJD, the Bill gets assured support of 119 members. The BJP is also expected to get the support of three nominated MPs and four independents. This takes the final tally to 126, comfortably above the majority mark.
The number might increase to 129 if the Shiv Sena decides to support it. But the Uddhav Thackeray led party has been hinting at taking a u-turn after backing it in the Lok Sabha, following the displeasure of the Congress high-command.
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