Citizenship Bill Is "Fundamentally Unconstitutional," Says Shashi Tharoor

Earlier in the day, the Union Cabinet cleared the bill that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there.

Citizenship Bill Is 'Fundamentally Unconstitutional,' Says Shashi Tharoor

Our idea of nation was that religion cannot determine nationhood, Shashi Tharoor said. (File)

New Delhi:

Opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday said it undermines the fundamental tenets of the Constitution.

Earlier in the day, the Union Cabinet cleared the bill that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there, sources said.

"I think the bill is fundamentally unconstitutional because the basic idea of India has been violated in the bill. Those who believe that religion should determine nationhood... that was the idea of Pakistan, they created Pakistan. We have always argued that our idea of nation was what Mahatma Gandhi, Nehruji, Maluana Azad, Dr Ambedkar have said, that religion cannot determine nationhood," Mr Tharoor told reporters in Parliament premises.

"Ours is a country for everybody and everybody, irrespective of religion, has equal rights in this country, and the Constitution that they wrote reflected that. Today, this bill undermines this fundamental tenet of the Constitution," he said.

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