What is Citizenship Amendment Bill?
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 passed by the Parliament of India on 11 December 2019. It amended the Citizenship Act of 1955 by providing a path to Indian citizenship for illegal migrants of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, and Christian religious minorities, who had fled persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan before December 2014. Muslims from those countries were not given such eligibility. The act was the first instance of religion being overtly used as a criterion for citizenship under Indian nationality law.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB, which grants Indian citizenship to the non-Muslims of Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Bangladesh, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Congress stand on Citizenship Amendment Bill-
The Congress, which held a high-level meeting on Saturday to discuss its final stand on the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, has decided to vote against the legislation in Parliament and demand a “holistic” and “comprehensive” policy on refugees and illegal immigrants.
The meeting was attended by senior party leaders Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, and Kapil Sibal from the Rajya Sabha and Gaurav Gogoi and Manish Tewari from the Lok Sabha.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi did not attend the meeting since she was not well. Former Congress president Rahul Gandhi was away in Kerala.
Congress decides to oppose Citizenship Amendment Bill-
The main reasons why there has been opposition against the bill are concerns that the demography of Northeast India will change with the influx of migrants from Bangladesh. The bill also goes against ongoing updates of the national register of citizens and discriminates based on religious lines.
New Delhi: The Congress has decided to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill which is to be introduced on Monday by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the Lok Sabha after its parliamentary strategy group meets at Sonia Gandhi’s residence here on Sunday. After the meeting, Congress leader in Lok Sabha, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said: “The bill is a violation of our Constitution’s secular ethos, culture, tradition, and civilization, and we will oppose it.” Congress has already decided to talk to likeminded parties to oppose the bill but in the lower house, the opposition could not do anything as BJP has a majority but in Rajya, Sabha Congress may try to stall the bill.