Centre to table Citizenship Amendment Bill today: BJP allies JD(U) and Shiv Sena set to oppose the draft

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The Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, which seeks to provide citizenship to non-muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan is all set to be tabled in Parliament on Monday. The Congress, TMC, CPI(M) and a few other opposition parties have been continuously opposing the bill on that grounds that citizenship cannot be given on basis of religion, as India is secular.

The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian nationality to people belonging to non-muslim minority communities  — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12, even if they don’t possess any proper document.

However, in a recent development that is seen as a disappointment for the Saffron Party, BJP, its Bihar Ally- JD(U) and its ally Shiv Sena reportedly is set to vote against the Citizenship Bill. In a statement, Shiv Sena Spokesperson and MP Sanjay Raut said, “We are determined to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 in Parliament”. BJP sets deadline for Shiv Sena, asks Uddhav Thackeray to clear stand on alliance by Jan 31

Another ally, Janta Dal United, also opposed the Bill. Party’s General Secretary Sanjay Verma said his party will oppose the bill because it will do no good to the identity and culture of Assam and the northeast. BJP ally JD(U) chooses a different path for Triple Talaq Bill, set to vote against it in Rajya Sabha

Asom Gana Parishad, (AGP), a regional party with roots in the anti-foreigner movement of the 1980s, had earlier reached out to Shiv Sena and JD(U) and sought their support in its movement against the Bill. In September last year, JD(U) chief and Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar had pledged his support to an AGP delegation,

However, the party has no Member in the Parliament and is hoping support from the twos other than Congress, Trinamool Congress, Biju Janata Dal and Samajwadi Party who is also expected to oppose when the Bill is re-introduced with changes recommended by Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Earlier in last week, during addressing a rally in Silchar, Assam Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated the Centre’s commitment to pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill. He said,  ‘Our government is also working to get the Citizen Amendment Bill passed in the Parliament‘.

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