Prime Minister Narendra Modi early on Tuesday expressed his delight over the passage of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in the Lok Sabha and lauded Home Minister Amit Shah for his efforts in the same.

Expressing his happiness, PM Modi tweeted thanks to various MPs and parties that supported the bill. He further said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is “in line with India’s centuries-old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values”.

PM Modi also applauded Amit Shah for “lucidly explaining all aspects of the controversial bill” in the Lok Sabha.

Shah, in return, thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi saying that he is an inspiration to all.

He also expressed his gratitude to PM Modi for making the historic Citizenship Amendment Bill a reality, that will “allow India to open its doors to minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who are facing religious persecution”.

Defending the bill, Amit Shah tweeted that “It is well known that those minorities, who chose to make Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan their home, had to constantly live in the fear of extinction”.

This amended legislation by the Modi government will allow India to extend them dignity and an opportunity to rebuild their lives, he said.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said that Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan are all Islamic states and therefore followers of Islam cannot be persecuted there on the basis of religion.

“This bill only gives citizenship to those who are persecuted on the basis of religion in these three countries,” he claimed.

The Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there, a little past midnight on Monday after a heated debate that lasted over seven hours.

The Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha with 311 members favouring it and 80 voting against it, will now be tabled in the Rajya Sabha for its nod.

Several amendments brought by opposition members, including one by a Shiv Sena MP, were defeated either by voice vote or division.

According to the proposed legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

In a hard-hitting reply to the debate on the proposed legislation, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said people belonging to any religion should not have any fear under the Modi government as he asserted that the bill will give relief to those minorities who have been living a painful life after facing persecution in neighbouring countries.

Shah also said the Modi government will definitely implement the National Register of Citizens (NRC) across the country and when it will be done, not a single illegal immigrant will remain in the country.