Union home minister Amit Shah.

Despite widespread protests in Northeast, Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday introduced the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in Rajya Sabha.

Home minister Shah while tabling the bill said the CAB provides hopes for lakhs of people who are living with no permanent residency in India.

“This bill will provide the persecuted a chance to provide for their families. People of the country have supported the legislation,” he said.

“This bill is not anti minority…no minority already residing in India will be excluded. But how can we provide muslims who are coming in from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan? How can we function if this is made possible,” Shah said.

“I assure you that no Indian muslim will be affected by this bill…I am ready to answer all your questions…I hope the opposition will stay and listen to me rather than walking out,” he said.

“In 1985, Assam accord happened. There is a provision in clause 6 to protect indigenous culture of the state. I want to assure that NDA Government through committee to supervise clause 6 will protect rights of Assam. All Assam Students’ Union is part of committee,” Shah added.

Ahead of the discussion in the Upper House over the contentious bill, the Congress said BJP was just interested in keeping the country divided on religious lines.

“There are about 13 like-minded parties in the Rajya Sabha… I have met them and they will all vote against CAB Bill,” leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad said.

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