Opposition Leaders Rip through Citizenship Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha
The bill is insidious, will wreck and demolish the Constitution —P. Chidambaram
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 11— Day after the Narendra Modi government easily got the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill passed in the Lok Sabha, the Opposition leaders strongly countered the government when it presented the bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Several senior leaders of Opposition parties, including Congress, RJD, Shiv Sena and CPI took part in the debate in the Upper House of the Parliament where the ruling BJP does not have majority on its own.
The CAB has a provision to grant Indian citizenship to six non-Muslim religious minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. Several political groups and human rights organizations have strongly opposed the bill terming it communal and unconstitutional.
While presenting the bill, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Muslim community does not need to worry over the bill, senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal said “the bill is targeting a community without naming it.”
Leading the Opposition attack, Congress leader and former Union Minister P. Chidambaram said: “We have a Citizenship Act in this country. It recognises citizenship by birth, descent, registration, naturalisation and by incorporation of territory. Now, this government is introducing a new category called Citizenship by arbitrary executive fiat.”
“What we are doing here is wrecking the constitution from within. A small part of the constitution is sought to be wrecked and demolished by this insidious bill. Hopefully, the judiciary will strike it down and save India and the idea of India,” he was quoted as saying by NDTV.
Top Quotes From Opposition Leaders’ Speeches in Rajya Sabha:
P Chidambaram (Congress):
-- The central government was ramming through the contentious Bill to “advance its Hindutva agenda”.
Kapil Sibal (Congress):
-- The bill is targeting a community without naming it. It is divisive and destabilize a polity. It weakens the foundation of our culture and ethos.
-- How do you determine that these migrants came to India due to persecution?
-- The CAB has no provision dealing with persecuted minorities. Its mentioned only in the Statements of Objects and Reasons.
--Religion cannot be a factor for grant of Indian citizenship. Citizenship based on birth, descent and domicile.
-- The CAB gives legal colour to the two-nation theory.
Kapil Sibal also disputed Amit Shah's claim that Congress was responsible for partition. Sibal said that the two-nation theory was first perpetrated by Savarkar.
Prof Manoj Kumar Jha (RJD):
-- India is following Israel model with the CAB.
-- What is morally wrong cannot be constitutionally right. This bill is morally wrong and constitutionally suspect.
-- A state which persecutes its citizens does not confine persecution to a particular class. In Germany, even Germans who supported Jews got persecuted. So, the classification of the CAB is unreasonable.
Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena):
-- The CAB is not legal and constitutional. Those who oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 are not anti-nationals.
-- The CAB is causing unrest in Assam, Tripura etc.
Binoy Viswom (CPI):
-- CAB will kill the idea of India. India has no religion.
-- Sun will rise tomorrow with a sword of Damocles hung over secular India.
-- This Bill should be thrown into the Bay of Bengal.
He also highlighted the exclusion of Sri Lankan Tamils from the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
Mir Mohammad Fayaz (J&K PDP):
-- A pattern of targeting Muslims is emerging - triple talaq bill, Article 370 and now CAB.
-- CAB is a betrayal of those Muslims who preferred secular India over Pakistan.
Abdul Wahab (Indian Union Muslim League):
-- Govt should withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019
Praful Patel (NCP):
-- The CAB should be sent to select committee for wider discussion.
---With Inputs from LiveLaw.in