Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday night expressed delight over the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Lok Sabha, saying the proposed law is in line with India's centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values.
The Lok Sabha passed the Bill with 311 votes in favour and 80 against it a little past midnight after a debate that lasted more than seven hours.
"Delighted that the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after a rich and extensive debate. I thank the various MPs and parties that supported the Bill. This Bill is in line with India's centuries old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values," he tweeted.
He said he would like to especially applaud Home Minister Amit Shah for lucidly explaining all aspects of the measure.
"He also gave elaborate answers to the various points raised by respective MPs during the discussion in Lok Sabha," PM Modi said.
The prime minister was not present in the House during the passage of the Bill.
The original Citizenship Act of 1955 stated that individuals seeking Indian citizenship should have lived in the country for 11 of the last 14 years. The amendment proposes to reduce that period to five years for non-Muslim applicants, and grants them immunity from administrative action under the National Register of Citizens.