Guwahati, February 11, 2019
The much-debated Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is likely to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha on February 12th, 2019, as per reports. The ongoing Budget Session of Parliament slated to end on February 13th, 2019.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is falling short of numbers in the Rajya Sabha even if it manages to get neutral parties such as All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) and Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) onboard over the Bill issue.
It may be recalled BJP general secretary Ram Madhav on February 3th, 2019 confirmed that the saffron party will bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as supplementary in the Rajya Sabha on February 12th, 2019.
The opposers of the Bill in the Northeast has reached Delhi to seek the support of the various political parties in opposing the Citizenship Bill. Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma flew to New Delhi on February 10th, 2019. As per reports, representatives of the All Assam Students’ Union, North East Students’ Union, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, Congress, Asom Gana Parishad will fly to Delhi by February 11th or February 12th, 2019.
Kissa Kursi Ka
The current strength of the Rajya Sabha is 245 (one seat is vacant). Votes of 123 MPs required to pass the Citizenship Bill. The BJP has 73 MPs in the House and with votes from independents and nominated members, it could reach 87.
The Indian National Congress has 50 seats, All India Trinamool Congress 13, Samajwadi Party 13, Telugu Desam Party 6, JD(U) 6, Shiv Sena 3, among others.
Congress, All India Trinamool Congress, Samajwadi Party, JD(U) and Shiv Sena assured the visiting delegation of the All Assam Students’ Union and Asom Gana Parishad to vote against the Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8th, 2019.
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.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with protests from the members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on February 8th, 2019. The AASU members showed black flags to the Prime Minister as he travelled to Raj Bhavan from the LGBI Airport after he arrived in Guwahati. Slogans like ‘Modi go back’, ‘Scrap Citizenship Amendment Bill’, ‘Joi Aai Asom’ was raised by the protestors.
The Prime Minister was first greeted with black flag protests at Jalukbari by the students of Gauhati University on his way to Raj Bhawan on February 8th, 2019. The protesters dotted the entire route shouting anti-Modi slogan and waving black flags.
The Asom Gana Parishad also took out a rally ahead of Modi’s visit on February 8th, 2019. Nonetheless, looking unruffled, PM Modi smiled and waved to the protesting students from inside his car. Modi visited and laid foundation stones of several developmental projects on February 9th, 2019 at Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura.
The opposition parties, students’ bodies and the civil societies are protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, claiming it will change the region’s demography. Widespread protests broke out in the entire Northeast region after the Bill was passed at the Lok Sabha.