Assam Minister Himanta Biswa has made a controversial statement saying the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is a fight between India's legacy and Jinnah's legacy.
"Without that bill, we are surrendering ourselves to the philosophy of Jinnah. If those people are not there, then 10,000 crucial votes will not be there, then that seat will go to Jinnah. So do you want that? So this a fight between Jinnah's legacy and India's legacy. So let the bill be passed. We will go through the bill. We will see if the bill has a provision of welcoming Bangladesh. And I'm sure that is not there.
He also spoke about the promise of Detection and Deportation with regards to the Bill.
Yes, we said that detection and deportation will be done but not at the cost of jinnah. So if today citizenship bill is not there, 17 Assamese seats with elected Assamese people will go the Jinnah way. I am meaning Jinnah, I am not meaning any community. This is again a wrong thing. Let the accord be violated, let us not go to Jinnah. So you have to determine between word of Assam accord and Jinnah- so which way will you go?"
The Joint Parliament Committee has submitted its report on the Assam Citizenship Accord.
It is still not clear whether the Bill will be taken up in the Winter Session of the Lok Sabha. A few allies of the BJP have opposed the Bill.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was introduced in the Lok Sabha to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.
All amendments moved by the opposition in the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), headed by BJP MP Rajendra Agrawal, of the Bill were defeated on December 31, 2018.
Addressing an election rally at Silchar on January 4, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, will be passed as soon as possible in Parliament as a penance for past injustices.
(With agency inputs)