The Left parties have decided to move amendments to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which is likely to be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday. It has opposed the CAB since it was introduced.
As per the reports, the Left would move two amendments to the Bill. Firstly, they seek deletion of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh and religions from the Bill, and secondly, they seek to bring refugees from neighbouring countries under its ambit.
“We strongly oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which gives citizenship on the basis of religion, that also to people from three countries,” CPI(M) General Secretary Sitaram Yechury said on Sunday.
The opposition parties including Congress opposed the CAB, while the government has decided to go ahead with it.
According to the Lok Sabha’s List of Business for Monday, the Home Minister Amit Shah will introduce the CAB in the House. Later in the day, it will be taken up for discussion and passage.
Not only the opposition parties, but a large section of people in Northeastern states also protested against the Bill. They said that the Bill will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985. As per the accord, March 24, 1971, was fixed as the cut-off date for the deportation of all illegal immigrants.
The North East Students Organisation (NESO), also opposed the Bill and asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah that whether the government is for citizens or for illegal migrants.
In a letter to PM Modi and Amit Shah, NESO said while launching an attack on the government on the issue, “From its attitude and approach it shows the government is for the illegal migrants.”
The NESO has also called 11-hour shutdown in northeast on December 10.
According to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from neighbouring countries Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
In order to make the locals of northeast region safe and not feel disturbed by the citizenship of these illegal migrants, as many locals feel that the permanent settlement of illegal immigrants will disturb the region’s demography, the government has made provisions under which the Bill will not be applicable in the Inner Line Permit (ILP).
It will also not be applicable to those tribal regions that are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
Refugees defined in the Bill will get Indian citizenship after they have resided in India for five years, instead of 11 years earlier. In 2016, the CAB 2016 had relaxed the 11 years tenure to six years.
The CAB was an election promise of the BJP in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
It was introduced in Lok Sabha during NDA’s last tenure and got approval. It was not introduced in the Rajya Sabha due to vehement protest by the northeast people. The Bill lapsed after the dissolution of Lok Sabha.