As the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday amid heavy Opposition, Union Home Minister Amit Shah stated that the bill does not violate any article of the Indian Constitution. During the debate, Shah slammed the Congress party and said that the party had divided the country on the basis of religion. The Home Minister also highlighted that the bill has a provision of providing citizenship to the minorities persecuted on religious lines in these countries.
His attack on the Congress caused an almighty flare-up, with the Opposition protesting vociferously, following which a vote was held on whether the Bill should be tabled or not, which was won by a huge margin by those who were for its tabling.
The Bill aims to amend the Citizenship Act 1955 to make refugees who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship, as explained by PRS. While the Bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in July 2016, this bill was referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee which filed its report on January 2019. The Bill was then finally passed by the Lok Sabha in January 2019, but lapsed in the Rajya Sabha. The new draft which is to be tabled by the Home Minister has added exemptions for the northeastern states.