Citizenship (Amendment) Bill | Opposition parties submit notes, oppose JPC’s decision

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Guwahati, January 5: Following the decision by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to approve the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, four opposition parties including the Congress, Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party and the CPI (M) submitted dissent notes to the JPC on the Bill.

The decision to approve the Bill was taken by the JPC on December 31, 2018 and is expected to be tabled in the Parliament on January 7. In the meeting, all the oppositions sponsored amendments or changes in the proposed Bill was defeated.

The opposition leaders claimed that the committee did not reach a consensus on the final report and also alleged that if the Bill is passed then it will expose the ethnic divisions in Assam.

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In the dissent note, it is mentioned, “The Bill was seen as one of the reasons of the perceived resurgence of extremist groups like the ULFA – Independent. Security forces blamed the outfit for the killing of 5 Hindu Bengalis seen as beneficiaries of the Bill in eastern Assam’s Tinsukia district.”

It may be mentioned that on January 4 while speaking in Silchar, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated the Centre’s commitment to pass the Bill.

The Citizenship Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016 to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.