The Lok Sabha on Monday voted to introduce the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, tabled by Indian Home Minister Amit Shah.
A total of 293 members voted in favor of introducing the Bill, while 82 voted against, The Wire reported.
Opposition parties led by the Congress had opposed the introduction, pointing that the bill violated Article 14 of the Indian Constitution.
The bill grants Indian citizenship to immigrants from six non-Muslim religious communities coming from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It has been widely criticized as being blatantly communal and anti-Muslim.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury began the debate, interrupting Shah to say that the Bill could not be introduced. Reading the preamble of the Constitution, Chowdhury asked Shah, “Do you not like this document?”
Shah, responding to Chowdhury’s statement that the Bill openly targeted minorities, said that it did not do so “even 0.001%”.
N.K. Premachandran of the Revolutionary Socialist Party also opposed the bill, saying religion could not be made the basis for citizenship while Saugata Roy of the Trinamool Congress also opposed it saying that that Shah’s defense that “Muslims were not mentioned” in the bill holds no water and called the bill divisive and unconstitutional.
Published Date: Monday, Mangshir 23, 2076, 16:09:00