Rajya Sabha

BJP on Wednesday suffered a major humiliation in Rajya Sabha as it failed to move the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, which aimed to granting citizenship to Hindus from Bangladesh.

Amid disruptions in Rajya Sabha, the government could not present the bill, which was scheduled to be moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Chairman of Rajya Sabha, M. Venkiah Naidu had to adjourn the session, finally at 12.50 pm adjourned the house sine die.

The treasury bench on Tuesday wanted to move the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Rajya Sabha. But, because of disruptions by the opposition members, the agenda was postponed to Wednesday’s schedule.

It was expected that the BJP would make one last effort to push this Bill through the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 lapsed as it was not cleared by Rajya Sabha on the last day of the last Parliament session of the 16th Lok Sabha.

Still there is no clarity as to why the ruling BJP suddenly decided to take a step back on the issue at the Rajya Sabha and did not move the controversial bill. It was probably because the NDA did not have the required numbers to ensure the passage of the bill.

It was major embarrassment for the ruling BJP because despite Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “promise” to the Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 was not tabled in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

Modi on January 4, had mentioned at a public rally in Silchar that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is an “prayaschitta (atonement)” for the mistakes committed during India’s partition.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 had proposed to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955, to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and had entered India before December 31, 2014.

People of most of the northeastern states including Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Tripura and Nagaland have been fighting tooth and nail to derail the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

People feared that the new law would marginalize the indigenous population and would encourage large-scale illegal migration from Bangladesh. Despite the opposition, the controversial Bill was introduced and passed in Lok Sabha in January.

The political parties and the civil society are opposed to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 as it was in total violation to the spirit of the Assam Accord, 1985.

~NE Now
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