Rajya Sabha Adjourned Without Citizenship Bill Being Tabled

The Bill was moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the Upper House
The Bill was moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the Upper House

Guwahati, February 12, 2019

The Rajya Sabha has been adjourned till February 13th, 2019 as uproar continued over Samajwadi Party (SP) leader Akhilesh Yadav’s episode at Lucknow airport.

The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 was listed to be tabled in Rajya Sabha on February 12th, 2019 amid protests in the Northeast. The Bill was to be moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the Upper House.

It may be recalled that the Bill was cleared by the Lok Sabha on January 8th, 2019 and if cleared in Rajya Sabha, it will become a law. The passage of the Bill at the Lok Sabha has led to widespread protests in Assam and the other northeastern states.

The opposition parties, students’ bodies and the civil societies are protesting across the Northeast against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, claiming it will change the region’s demography.  The opposers of the Bill in the Northeast flew down to Delhi to seek the support of the various political parties in opposing the Citizenship Bill.

Assurance of Sonowal & Modi

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.”

NE CMs appeal

It may be mentioned that the chief ministers of two Northeast states, Arunachal Pradesh’s Pema Khandu and Manipur’s N Biren Singh, on February 11th, 2019 voiced their opposition to the Citizenship Amendment Bill and urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to ensure it was not passed in Rajya Sabha, officials said.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma is also camping in New Delhi. A delegation of the All Assam Students’ Union, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, North East Students’ Organisation, Asom Gana Parishad are also in the capital. Sangma on February 11th, 2019 reiterated his firm opposition against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and said that the Bill is anti-national and should not be passed in the Rajya Sabha.

Section 144

Internet services have been banned in Manipur and section 144 imposed in view of the protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.