TMC issues whip to its MPs, says Citizenship bill hurts very soul of India

Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday said that it has issued a whip to all its Members of Parliament (MPs) directing them to be present in both the Houses for four days, from Monday to Thursday, in anticipation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 being introduced by the government.

TMC issues whip to its MPs, says Citizenship bill hurts very soul of India

NEW DELHI: Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Friday said that it has issued a whip to all its Members of Parliament (MPs) directing them to be present in both the Houses for four days, from Monday to Thursday, in anticipation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 being introduced by the government.

Addressing a press conference, TMC national spokesperson Derek O'Brien said it was not about the numbers and that the bill hurts the "very heart and soul of the idea of India."

"It is very discriminatory. Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has announced that there will be no NRC in Delhi. We welcome this decision," the TMC spokesperson added.

Referring to the government's call for Uniform Civil Code, Derek said, "Four months back you talked about one nation, one law. But now they (central government) are serving their own political purpose."

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The TMC spokesperson resonated the stand of party chief and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who had said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) were "two sides of the same coin", and her party will oppose it till the end.

"If you give citizenship to all the communities, we will accept it. But if you discriminate on the basis of religion, we will oppose it and also fight against it," Banerjee said while addressing workers of the Trinamool Congress in Kolkata on Friday.

"The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and the National Register of Citizens (NRC) are two sides of the same coin. We won't allow the implementation of CAB in Bengal. I urge other political parties to not support CAB," Mamata Banerjee said.

The West Bengal CM further said the bill is being taken up by the centre to divert the attention of the people from the economic slowdown. She further said that 12 Opposition parties met in Parliament on Friday to discuss what their strategy to oppose the bill would be.

The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB, which seeks to make it easier for refugees belonging to six communities and coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become citizens of India, was cleared by the cabinet on Wednesday for tabling in Parliament.

The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha in January but lapsed without being cleared in Rajya Sabha.

The Opposition alleges that the bill targets Muslims and is at odds with the secular principles enshrined in the Constitution as it excludes a community.