New Delhi: Ahead of the tabling of Citizen Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha, Congress lawmaker Gaurav Gogoi on Sunday urged BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) to not side with it for "political compulsions".
"I appeal to all North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) parties to stand with your people of northeast. Do not side with BJP for political compulsions," Gogoi told ANI after attending Congress Parliamentary Strategy Group Meeting on the contentious Bill.
The Bill is scheduled to be tabled the Lower House on Monday. Congress has pulled up its socks to vehemently oppose the Bill as it allegedly discriminates against the people on the basis of their religion and is counterproductive to the interest of north-eastern states. The Congress Parliamentary Strategy Group chaired by Sonia Gandhi held a meeting here on Sunday to deliberate upon the strategy to oppose the Bill "tooth and nail" and also how to garner supported from other opposition parties over the issue.
The meeting was attended by prominent faces of Congress in the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha that included former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, K Suresh, Gaurav Gogoi, Jairam Ramesh, AK Antony, Ahmed Patel and others.
"We will oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill tooth and nail because it is in violation of our Constitution, secular ethos, tradition, culture and civilization," said Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury.
Although the government has numbers in its favour in the Lok Sabha, it would nonetheless be a challenge for it to get it through in the Rajya Sabha where the Opposition enjoys an edge in terms of numbers.
If passed by Parliament, it will amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 introducing exceptional provisions for acquiring citizenship for non-Muslim immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.