JD(U) leader Prashant Kishor hits out at party for backing Citizenship Amendment Bill

JD(U) national vice-president Prashant Kishor on Monday expressed disappointment over his party's decision to support the Citizenship Amendment Bill, saying the Bill discriminates against people "on the basis of religion".

JD(U) leader Prashant Kishor hits out at party for backing Citizenship Amendment Bill

Expressing disappointment over his party's decision to support the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Lok Sabha, JD(U) national vice-president Prashant Kishor on Monday (December 9) said that the legislation, which was passed in Lok Sabha on Monday, discriminates against people "on the basis of religion".

Prashant Kishor took to Twitter to express his views against the Bill and said that the Bill was "incongruous with the constitution of the party, headed by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, which swore by secularism and Gandhian ideals”.

"Disappointed to see JDU supporting #CAB that discriminates right of citizenship on the basis of religion. It's incongruous with the party's constitution that carries the word secular thrice on the very first page and the leadership that is supposedly guided by Gandhian ideals," he tweeted.

During the debate on CAB in Lok Sabha on Monday, JD(U) MP Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh said that his party had decided to support the Bill becuase it was "not against secularism".

The shift in stand of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar-led JD(U) is significant because the party was till recently strongly against the National Register for Citizens (NRC) and the CAB despite an ally of the BJP. 

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The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 was passed in the Lok Sabha after 6 hours of intense debate on Monday with 311 MPs voting in its favour and 80 against.

According to the proposed legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014 and facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants and will be given Indian citizenship.

During the debate in Lok Sabha, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Bill is a part of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance manifesto. He argued that it does not discriminate against any minority community as alleged by the opposition. On the other hand, several opposition MPs voiced their opinion against the bill, claiming it discriminates against Muslims on the basis of religion.

The Bill aims at providing Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.