Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die, Citizenship Bill lapsed
Guwahati, February 13, 2019
In a major setback for the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was not tabled in the Upper House of the Parliament on February 13th, 2019. It may be mentioned that the Bill has lapsed as the Rajya Sabha failed to pass it on the last day of the Budget session.
Rajya Sabha Chairman and Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu has adjourned the House sine die on February 13th, 2019. The House sat in 18 sessions since June 2014, since the National Democratic Alliance (NDA)’s tenure began.
According to the procedures, a Bill pending in the Upper House which has not been passed by Lok Sabha does not lapse on the dissolution of Lok Sabha but a Bill which is passed by Lok Sabha and is pending in Rajya Sabha lapses on the dissolution of Lok Sabha. The Citizenship Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8th, 2019.
The opposition parties have raised objections over the listing of the Citizenship Bill without consultation. As the Rajya Sabha failed to pass the Bill on February 13th, 2019, it would have to be cleared by the next Lok Sabha again. The BJP government at the Centre has been pitching for the early passage of the legislation.
The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 was listed to be tabled in Rajya Sabha on February 13th, 2019 amid protests in the Northeast. The Bill was to be moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the Upper House.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant nationality to people belonging to minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of their residence in India.
Rage in Northeast
The indigenous people of the Northeast region are afraid that identity would be lost if the Bill was enacted. The leaders of the students’ unions and civil societies said that the stir would be intensified if the Rajya Sabha passes the amendment Bill. Massive protests broke out across the Northeast region ever since the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha.
Of rumours & false propaganda
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 9th, 2019 said that rumours are being spread about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. “People who sit in AC rooms are spreading false rumours regarding the Citizenship Bill. The NDA government is ready to fully protect the culture, resources and Northeast states’ language,” he said while addressing the gathering in Changsari, Kamrup on February 9th, 2019.
Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal had earlier said that sections of the people in the state are carrying out false propaganda on Citizenship (Amendment), Bill 2016. “A section of people are trying to instill fear that if the Bill becomes an Act, Assam will be flooded with illegal migrants. The Bill is for the entire nation. It is being said that one crore ninety lakh people will come to Assam from Bangladesh after the Bill is passed.”