The Congress and the Trinamool Congress on Tuesday staged a walk out from the Lok Sabha over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Soon after Home Minister Rajnath Singh moved the controversial Bill for passage in the lower house, Leader of Congress in the House Mallikarjun Kharge said that his party has several reservations on the bill.
“It has several shortcomings. It is dangerous for the unity and integrity of the country. There is no respect for Assam Accord. It is also a constitutional matter so kindly resend it to select committee.
“If you do not send it to select committee, we have no other option but to walk out from the House,” he said and led the party members to a walk out.
Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy slammed the bill, saying it is “divisive.”
“If it is passed, it will cause fires in the Northeast including Assam…Withdraw this bill. If you can’t do it, reconstitute the committee,” he said.
He accused the government of doing diabolical politics for political benefit and said its action was the “worst” example of “vote bank” politics.
Roy said there was no effort to evolve a consensus in the Joint Committee of Parliament that examined the bill.
“The committee did not go to all places so this bill is incomplete,” he said, adding that the party lacked numbers in the panel but it articulated its view point.
He also said that Muslims have been left out of the minorities covered under the bill’s provisions.
“Make this bill a secular bill. Anybody who has come and facing religious prosecution should be accommodated,” he said and added that minorities from Nepal and Sri Lanka should also be included in the bill.
Roy and other members of the Trinamool Congress then staged a walk out.
Earlier, moving the bill for passage, Rajnath Singh said it will help the migrants who had “faced problematic conditions” including religious prosecution in the three countries get citizenship of the country.
He said religious minorities in Pakistan have been facing systematic discrimination and, though the present governments in Afghanistan and Bangladesh, were committed to the welfare of the minorities, they have faced problems in the past.
Singh said the bill not only applies to Assam but to the entire country and such migrants were in several other states.
“The responsibility is of the entire country. The burden of Assam is that of entire country,” he said.