NEW DELHI: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Tuesday tabled the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha even as Opposition parties including the Congress and the Trinamool Congress staged a walkout. The Union Minister said that the bill is important to safeguard the interests of the people.
"Assam's burden is the entire nation's burden and all necessary steps will be taken to deal with illegal immigrants. It's not for Assam alone or for the betterment of migrants coming from a particular country. This Bill is also for migrants who have come from the Western borders and have settled down in Rajasthan, Punjab and Delhi," the Home Minister said.
Rajnath also assured that the government is committed towards NRC and asserted that there will be no discrimination towards anyone. "All the necessary steps will be taken to deal with illegal migrants," he added. He said they have an approval for a high-level committee which will hold discussions with all stakeholders before giving recommendations in six months.
Opposing the Bill, the TMC said that it should be made secular. "Muslims are not included among the six religions mentioned in the bill. Make it secular. Anyone who comes out of religious persecution should be included if they seek asylum in India," TMC leader Saugata Roy said, urging the Speaker to intervene.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 aims to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to those Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.
There are protests being held across Assam with some agitators stripping in public against the controversial Bill. Even the BJP-backed Conrad Sangma government in Meghalaya said that it will stick to its stand to oppose the controversial Bill.