Narendra Modi’s cabinet on Wednesday morning cleared the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill giving citizenship to all non-Muslim infiltrators living in India. These religious groups are Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists and Parsis.
Home Minister Amit Shah had minced no words while campaigning for the Lok Sabha polls in West Bengal that his government will provide pass laws to grant Indian citizenship to all non-Muslim refugees living in India.
The controversial Bill is likely to be tabled in the parliament next week and the government is expected to instruct all BJP MPs to be present during the voting. Defence Minister Rajnath Singh had told BJP MPs on Tuesday that the CAB was as important for the party as Article 370.
The Bill, which had lapsed in the previous term of the parliament, has already evoked angry reactions from people in the North-East states. People in the North-Eastern states are angry over Hindus arriving from Bangladesh illegally getting the citizenship status in the region.
The government may have no trouble in clearing the Bill in the Lok Sabha, where it enjoys a massive majority. In Rajya Sabha too, the BJP may get support from its new ‘friends’ such as Arvind Kejriwal’s Aam Aadmi Party, which has traditionally sided with the BJP on policy announcements targeting Muslims. The AAP had supported the BJP government’s move to rename Aurangzeb Road before supporting the Modi government on launching a crackdown against Kashmir’s 80 lakh population through abrogation of Article 370.
However, parties such as the Congress, Trinamool, DMK, Samajwadi Party, Left and Rashtriya Janata Dal have already opposed the Bill.