In the Rajya Sabha, Amit Shah while responding to questions raised by the opposition, says the Citizenship Amendment Bill is about granting citizenship and not about taking it away. As protests continue against the Citizenship Amendment Bill, which was cleared by the Lok Sabha on Monday amid vehement opposition, the bill was introduced by Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha this afternoon. While the BJP and its allies in the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) enjoy an overwhelming majority in the lower house that helped it 334 votes in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, and 106 against in the lower house, the party's hold on the Rajya Sabha is wobblier. With a current strength of 240, the majority mark in the upper house is 121. The NDA, which includes parties like AIADMK, Janata Dal-United and the Akali Dal, has 116 members and expects the support of 14 others, taking its numbers to 130.
Violent protests have erupted in northeastern states against the bill, which seeks to make it easier for non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to become Indian citizens.
The controversial legislation provides that Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in Muslim-majority Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan can be granted citizenship.
Here are the Highlights of the debate on Citizenship Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha:
On Twitter, Prime Minister Narendra Modi says "landmark day for India".
A landmark day for India and our nation's ethos of compassion and brotherhood!- Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 11, 2019
Glad that the #CAB2019 has been passed in the #RajyaSabha. Gratitude to all the MPs who voted in favour of the Bill.
This Bill will alleviate the suffering of many who faced persecution for years.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) is against the spirit of the Constitution and also India's centuries-old philosophy of "Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam", Congress leader Jyotiraditya Scindia said on Wednesday. Criticising the Modi government for bringing the legislation, he said not only the Congress, but several other parties were opposed to the bill which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution.
The architect of our Constitution Babasaheb Ambedkar had said people living in India should be looked at as citizens without taking into consideration their caste or religion.
"Taking this into account, the CAB is against the basic spirit of the Constitution given that Indian citizens had never been viewed with lens of their faith, the former Union Minister told reporters, reported PTI.
391 Afghani and 1,595 Pakistani migrants were granted Indian citizenship between 2016 and 2018, Union Minister Nityanand Rai told Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. He also said in 2019, 40 Afghani and 712 Pakistani migrants were given citizenship till December 6. He said as per available data, 927 Sikhs and Hindus from Afghanistan and Pakistan have been granted Indian Citizenship since 2016, reported news agency PTI.
"In our religion, we believe in rebirth and that we meet our elders. So if Sardar Patel meets Modi he will be very angry with him. Gandhiji will of course be sad, but Patel will be indeed very angry," said Anand Sharma. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who entered India before 2015. It was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday after a seven hour debate. The bill is an "assault" on the foundations of the Constitution and fails the morality test, said Anand Sharma, asserting that it was wrong to blame his party for the Partition. "The Bill that you have brought is an assault on the very foundation of the Indian constitution. It is an assault on the Republic of India. It hurts the soul of India. It is against our Constitution and democracy. It fails the morality test. It is divisive and discriminatory," Mr Sharma said.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said unity in diversity is the ethos of the state and people here are not divided on the basis of caste, creed and religion. Ms Banerjee statement came when the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is being debated in Rajya Sabha. The contentious Bill that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees coming from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan after facing religious persecution there, was passed in the Lok Sabha yesterday. "Unity in diversity is the soul of the state and we don't divide people on the basis of caste, creed and religion. We believe in staying together. We are one family and no one staying here can say that he is deprived," Ms Banerjee said at the Bengal Business Conclave held in this coastal town reported PTI.
Congress leader Anand Sharma said that for centuries India had granted asylum to displaced people. It granted asylum even after Independence to the people from countries like Sri Lanka, Uganda, but religion was never a criteria for it.
"In 2013-2014, the amount meant for minorities welfare was Rs 35 crore. It was increased to Rs 47 crore in 2019-2020. I request you to accept the bill that PM Modi has brought for the welfare of minorities whp have faced persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, says Amit Shah.
"Pakistan and Congress are speaking the same language. The statements given by Pakistan are the same as those given by Congress today. Look at statements made yesterday by the Pakistan PM Imran Khan and see what the Congress leaders said today. Why did Congress oppose the Enemy-Property Bill?" asks Amit Shah
"The spirit of the Nehru-Liaquat Pact was not implemented by our neighbours. We should honour the agreement. Modi government believes we should respect and help the persecuted from these countries," says Amit Shah.
"We are taking in minorities from all countries where women are in danger, where people are in danger, hence I have brought this amendment. This bill doesn't hurt article 14 or any other articles. We have made laws and we know it will be accepted in the court as well. Congress is a weird party. We are not confused. When P Chidambaram was home minister, Rajasthan chief minister wrote to asking about refugees from Hindu and Sikh community. And congress has allowed 13k people only from these two religions but there was no problem there. Because congress is secular! How long will you fool people? I want to tell the minorities that they are absolutely safe here. We are not taking away anyone's citizenship. We have given Indian muslims so much respect. This is just to give citizenship to the affected minorities from these countries," says Amit Shah
"Our work is to solve the nation's problems. And then you say we are trying to distract people. The state religion of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan is Islam. We are bringing in people from 6 religions but people are only asking about muslims. In these countries, muslims are not minorities. So, how can they be persecuted if the state religion is Islam? There is little chance that they are persecuted if state religion is Islam and still we can also give citizenship to muslims. Muslims have been given citizenship under Modi regime and there is provision for even muslims to apply for citizenship, says Amit Shah.
"No elections are happening now. No elections are going to happen tomorrow. 4 and a half years are left for the next general elections. This is not a political thing. We have to address the problems of the country, how long will we not address it. Partition happened on basis of religion, and that's why the bill has been introduced. Minorities have been respected in India, but our 3 neighbours didn't. We have had many muslim leaders, Election Commissioner, President, Deputy-President, in the country," says Amit Shah.
"Today from 12 pm till now we have spoken on this important bill. 44 lawmakers have spoken on this, everyone has questions, suggestions etc infront of the house. Will try to answer every question. Many said the bill is unconstitutional on the basis of Article 14. Some said there was no need to introduce this. Will answer all questions. Had India not been partitioned, we would not have been here to introduce this bill, this would have never come. To address the problems, we had to introduce this as older governments didn't address the problems. Modi Government is not here to just rule. We are here to solve problems," says Amit Shah.
"The bill is very important for the country, India's culture. Many people spoke many big things on the topic. I want to tell the house, that all our bills are vetted by the Law ministry before it is introduced. Many learned people are here and even after experience if they ask such questions then we have to answer. Under Article 246, we can make laws on any subject. All our laws are cleared by the legal department. The opposition are questioning a law that is valid, constitutional and is in national interest. Both Houses are sovereign in law-making," says Ravi Shankar Prasad
"Why are protests happening in Assam, Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Guwahati? Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, and Tripura are burning and you are saying the country is happy. This is how you brought Triple Talaq, GST, demonestisation, NRC, Article 370 and you, Home Minister, keep bringing all this every few months to distract people from main issues like farmer issues, unemployment, says Ghulam Nabi Azad in Rajya Sabha.
"I am opposing this Bill as it is against the Constitution made by Baba Saheb Ambedkar. It is against the Preamble of the Constitution. It is against the India of the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh," says Sanjay Singh, opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
"I support this Bill. People in the north-east have no religious bias & aren't communal. It's not about religion, minority or majority communities. It's about illegal migrants who've come into our region & are threatening to run over our population," says KG Kenye of Naga People's Front, tweeted ANI.
"We know what your aim is and what you aspire - first ghar wapsi, then triple talaq, then Article 370, then NRC, then CAB, then nationwide NRC... we can see through it. You have no idea what you are doing. By this bill you create a situation where 180-200 million people will not trust you. Those who have no idea of India, cannot understand the idea of India. Don't convert the Indian Republic into a Jurassic Republic with 2 dinosaurs," says Kapil Sibal in the Rajya Sabha
"I do not understand which history book the Home Minister has read and is quoting, when he said Congress was responsible for partition. It was not the Congress which supported the two-nation theory. It was VD Savarkar who supported it. In fact Ambedkar had said, that Jinnah and Savarkar, instead of opposing each other, stand united on this issue that (pre-Independence) India was actually two nations. Therefore, I appeal to the Home Minister to withdraw the allegation made on the Congress. If this bill is passed today, then it will live up to what Jinnah stood for," says Kapil Sibal in the Rajya Sabha.
"I stand to oppose this Bill. Since this government has come to power, the way it has brought bills like Triple Talaq & scrapped the provisions of Article 370, Muslims have been targeted. Yeh sarkaar jab se bani hai yeh musalman ke peeche padi hai," says PDP MP Mir M Fayaz in the Rajya Sabha.
"We have hope on our prime minister and home minister. Will you throw out the infiltrators after the bill is passed? If we accept refugees, no politics should happen over them. Will the refugees be given voting rights?" asks Sanjay Raut in the Rajya Sabha
"Our party opposes the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Why are you violating Article 14 by excluding Muslims? Muslims being excluded is the sole problem of this entire act," said BSP's Satish Chandra Mishra in the Rajya Sabha tweeted ANI.
"We have to understand the difference between a refugee and infiltrator. We don't need any certificate on our nationalism or Hindutva. Jis school mein aap padhte ho, hum us school ke head master hain. Hamare school ke headmaster Balasaheb Thackeray the, Atal ji, Shyama Prasad Mukherjee bhi the, hum sabko mante hain," says Sanjay Raut in the Rajya Sabha.
"Are we not citizens of this country?" Sena's Sanjay Raut asks as he addresses Rajya Sabha on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
The Shiv Sena will oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha, sources said on Wednesday, two days after the party voted in favour of the bill in the Lok Sabha. Sena members have informally conveyed that they have instructions to oppose the bill in the Rajya Sabha. This, after the party's Maharashtra ally Congress conveyed its displeasure over Sena's support to the bill in the Lok Sabha. Read here
- "Please do not come to Bengal and teach us what is Indian-ness
- "India is moving from a democracy towards becoming a dictatorship. Allow me to put the facts in front of you"
- "In a Germany under Adolf Hitler, he spoke of German blood, in India, we have this concept of nationalism"
- "In Germany, there were concentration camps, in India, we are making camps where people will live like prisoners"
- "In Germany, there were persecution of Jews, in India we will have nationwide NRC"
- "In Germany, there was propaganda, in India the media is working in fear, pushing the government's agenda"
- "This government works on three things - Jhooth, Jhansa aur Jumla"
Addressing the parliament, Trinamool Congress leader Derek O'Brien said the CAB has an "eerie similarity" with similar laws in Germany. "The lie today is "Bharat Khatre mein hai (India is in danger)"... This is the fake agenda being pushed in the country today just like it was pushed in Germany decades ago," he said.
Congratulating Amit Shah on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Union Minister JP Nadda said today that he is the "architect" of the legislation. He also said that the bill does not hurt right of any people.
Citizenship (Amendment) bill doesn't hurt right for equality, not for anyone, says BJP's JP Nadda in Rajya Sabha.
Union Minister JP Nadda addresses Rajya Sabha on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill
- "What is the basis of citizenship... we all know that. It is stated in our Constitution. Do you think our founding fathers did not give it adequate thought?"
- "As for Naturalisation, did people, lakhs of them, not come here from both East and West Pakistan after partition? Did they not get citizenship and did they not live with dignity? Two of our former Prime Ministers came here after partition - Dr Manmohan Singh and IK Gujral"
- "What is the government trying to do here? Why make this process based on religion? Why keep out a certain community?"
- "If this bill is passed in parliament today, it will be an insult to our founding fathers and our rich history. It will be remembered as a shameful incident in history."
- "Let us set the history record clear... The two-nation theory was opposed vehemently by the Congress... It was Savarkar and the Hindu Mahasabha that passed a legislation on the two-nation theory in Ahmedabad in 1937."
- "Congress leaders who protested strongly were put in jail. That is when the Hindu Mahasabha and the Muslim League came forward and suggested this solution to Her Majesty's government."
- "Let me also set the record straight in the House once and for all. This is researched and authentic information and I am putting it on record... Mr Savarkar said, "The Hindu Mahasabha has no problem with the concept of the two-nation theory)"
"Assam is burning. Why are people out in streets?" Anand Sharma said in parliament today. On National Register of Citizens, the Congress leader said: "There is a sense of insecurity across the nation. Do we need Europe-like concentration camps in the country."
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill hurts the soul of India, Congerss's Anand Sharma told Rajya Sabha this afternoon.
Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is hope for lakhs of persecuted people, says Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha
"Bill is in order," says Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu amid objections against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Amid uproar, Rajya Sabha proceedings adjourned till 12 pm, news agency PTI reported