The hours-long debate in the Lok Sabha on Monday eventually led to the passage of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill after midnight with 311 MPs in favour and 80 in opposition. On December 11, the 240-seat Rajya Sabha will argue over the contentious Bill, that seeks to give citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there, saying it was violative of various provisions of the Constitution, including a move to grant citizenship on the basis of religion.
The BJP-led NDA government would need the backing of at least 121 MPs in the Rajya Sabha, to seek a majority for the passage of the Bill.
While the BJP saw an easy passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, owing to the saffron party's majority in the House. However, in the Upper House, the BJP is seeking the support of 38 MPs in addition to their own. The BJP has 83 MPs in the Rajya Sabha. Its allies including Nitish Kumar's JD(U) has 6, Akali Dal (SAD) has 3 MPs and RPI(A) has 1 in the House. However, in the process, a division of opinion over the Bill was witnessed within the JD(U), with Rajya Sabha MP Pawan Varma and party vice president Prashant Kishor contending the 'discriminatory' Bill.
Apart from BJP's allies- AIADMK with 11 MPs, Naveen Patnaik's BJD with 7 MPS, LJP with 1 MP, YS Jagan Mohan Reddy's YSRCP with 2 MPs are expected to back the Bill. On Monday, the Shiv Sena backed the Bill in the Lok Sabha, however, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray stated that the party will not support the Bill unless the party questions are answered by the ruling BJP. According to preliminary analysis, 117 MPs are expected to support BJP over the Bill, along with 4 nominated MPs, thus garnering the support of 121 MPs for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
Opposition leaders Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, Saugata Roy, N K Premchandran, Gaurav Gogoi, Shashi Tharoor, and Assaduddin Owaisi opposed the introduction of the bill in the Lok Sabha. Opposition parties including --Congress (46 MPs), TMC (13 MPs), SP (9 MPs), TRS (6 MPs), CPI(M) with (5 MPs), DMK (5 MPs), NCP (4 MPs), BSP (4 MPs), RJD (4 MPs), AAP (3 MPs), TDP (2 MPs), PDP (2 MPs), AGP (1 MP), BPF (1 MP), CPI (1 MP), IUML (1 MP), JD(S) (1 MP), KC(M) with (1 MP), MDMK (1 MP), NPF (1 MP), PMK (1 MP) and SDF (1 MP) are expected to vote against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
With a total of 113 MPs in disagreement, plus 6 Others, the opposition of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill tallies up to 119. The tabling of the emotive bill comes even as there were protests and incidents of violence in Northeastern states with most of the student unions and regional political parties opposing it, saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion. The BJP-led NDA government had introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in its previous tenure and got Lok Sabha's approval. But it did not introduce it in Rajya Sabha, apparently due to vehement protests in the Northeast and lack of majority in the House.