Union Minister of Home Affairs Amit Shah on Monday (9 December) tabled the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha amid a heated debate in the house by the opposition parties including Congress and Trinamool Congress (TMC).
Before tabling the Bill in the House, the Home Minister said that he would respond to all questions raised in the House. He, however, took a jibe at the opposition and said, “Do not walk out then.”
Responding to opposition’s allegations that the CAB was violating the Article 14 of Indian Constitution, Shah said the Bill was not against any article of the Constitution, while asking the Congress whether former prime minister (PM) Indira Gandhi’s decision to extend citizenship to Bangla refugees in 1971 was also unconstitutional.
He went on to say that the minorities were persecuted in Bangladesh even after 1971.
Shah also stressed on the need of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and attacked the Congress for partitioning the country after the independence on the lines of religions.
“If the Congress party had not divided the country on religious lines at the time of Independence, this bill would not have become a necessity,” Shah remarked.
The Home Minister elucidated that in order to understand the CAB, the House must understand the constitutions of three neighbouring countries - Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh - which recognise Islam as a state religion.
Muslims are not exploited in these countries, he asserted, while answering the questions as to why Muslim community was left out in the Bill.
He, however, clarified that if a Muslim person from any of these nations seeks Indian citizenship via legal process, the government of India will consider it.