CPI(M) will strongly oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament as it is what they believe to be "anti Constitutional and anti-people", and has urged the Union Government to reconsider tabling it in the House.
"We are totally against this Bill. And all those who believe in Constitution will also oppose the Bill. Citizenship has nothing to do with religion or caste. It is based on birth and domicile in India. If we had religion as the basis of citizenship we should have gone Pakistan way. We differ from that because of our tradition, legacy and heritage... because of democracy and secularism are intrinsically linked in our Constitution," CPI(M) senior polit bureau member Brinda Karat told Republic TV on Wednesday.
Elaborating her party's stand, Karat said, "This government has no idea about the history and the sacrifices of our freedom struggle and in one stroke of pen they want to change the citizenship. This is the first step towards their toxic idea of a Hindu Rastra. This is totally wrong and very damaging for the country. This is against the interest of the country. The Govt must reconsider and rethink it."
The bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha in July 2016, and was then 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. The Modi government which has implemented the National Register of Citizens in Assam this year, aims to pass the Citizenship Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The CAB Bill amends 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.