Upping the ante against the passage of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 in the Lok Sabha, the Congress has urged its party leaders and workers to hold protests across the country on Wednesday.
In a letter to all the state party chiefs, Congress General Secretary (Organisation) K.C. Venugopal said, "You are aware that our party is opposing the CAB which is likely to be taken up in Rajya Sabha tomorrow (Wednesday). We need to enlighten the public at large on our stand and mobilize support in favour of our decision," Mr Venugopal said in his letter.
"I request you to undertake dharna pradarshan (protest) tomorrow (Wednesday) against the Bill in state headquarters by involving the senior leaders and frontal organisations," he said.
The Congress leader's letter to the party state Presidents came after former Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi criticised the CAB saying it is an "attack on the Indian Constitution and anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation".
The CAB that seeks to give Indian nationality to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday-Tuesday midnight though it was vehemently opposed by major opposition parties objecting its nature and describing it "against Muslim community", which the government rejected, saying it does not affect the community residing in the country.
The draft legislation was passed after division of votes with 311 in its favour and 80 against it following a marathon eight hour long debate which continued till 12.06 a.m. on Tuesday in the lower House.
The Bill would now be moved in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday to cross its final hurdle before becoming a law. As treasury benches called it a historical Bill while the opposition dubbed the move to "kill secularism and Constitution of India", "another attempt of partition" in the country in the name of religion and "violation of Article 14 of the Constitution".
Major opposition parties, including the Congress, the TMC, Revolutionary Socialist Party, Dravida Munnetra Kazhgam (DMK), All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul-Muslimeen (AIMIM), Indian Union Muslim League (IUML), AIUDF, BSP, Samajwadi Party, Aam Aadmi Party and YSR Congress opposed the Bill citing various articles of the Constitution.
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