The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill after a reply by Home Minister Amit Shah who said that the legislation was a historic document to liberate the crores of refugees who had come from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh from adversities they have faced for decades.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 was passed after division of votes with 311 voting in support and 80 against. In his reply to the heated over seven-hour debate, Shah said there was no need to link the bill to National Register of Citizens (NRC).
“We will bring NRC and bring it with clarity. When NRC comes, all infiltrators will be identified,” he said.
He said Nehru-Liaquat pact for proper treatment of minorities was not implemented by Pakistan.
“The mistake of Nehru-Liaquat agreement is being rectified by Modiji,” he said.
Allaying apprehensions of opposition members, Shah said the bill was not related to Muslim citizens of the country.
He said only “minorties” from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh who have faced religious prosecution have been covered in the bill and Muslims in these Islamic countries were not minorities.
The bill makes Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, Christians from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, eligible for citizenship . It seeks to amend Citizenship Act.
Shah said only Constitution was the dharma of the Modi government.
Earlier moving the bill for passage, Shah said it was not targeting anyone and won’t promote any injustice as BJP-led government was committed to secularism enshrined in the constitution and believes that there should be no discrimination against any citizen on the basis of religion.