Union home minister Amit Shah tabled the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Upper House, holding 245 members in the Rajya Sabha. The halfway mark is currently 121 as five seats are vacant bringing down the strength of the House to 240.
New Delhi: Union home minister Amit Shah on Wednesday (December 11) said that misinformation is being spread about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that it is against Muslims of India.
He asserted that the Narendra Modi government is working according to the Constitution and minorities will get full protection.
"Misinformation has been spread that this Bill is against Muslims of India. I want to ask the people how this Bill is related to Indian Muslims? They are Indian citizens and will always remain, no discrimination against them," Shah said in the Rajya Sabha where Citizenship Bill was tabled.
"No Muslim in India needs to worry due to this Bill. Don't get scared if someone tries to scare you. This is Narendra Modi's government working according to the Constitution and minorities will get full protection," he said.
Shah continued, "How will we give citizenship to Muslims coming from all over the world? How will the country function? This is for only religious minorities in three nations."
The home minister also said that anyone from these religious minorities, who came to India before or the next day of December 31, 2014, will not have to face legal proceedings.
He also said that there has been a 20% decline in the population of religious minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh respectively.
"This Bill would give hope to people who are living a miserable life. There has been an almost 20% decline each in the population of religious minorities in both Pakistan and present-day Bangladesh. Either they were killed, have changed their religion or they have fled to India for shelter to save themselves and their religion," Shah said in the Upper House.
"They did not get citizenship, rights to buy houses, and education, jobs. This Bill would give rights to those persecuted minorities," he said.
The minister said that his party BJP had mentioned it as one of their election promises.
"During elections, we made the announcement (about the Bill). People gave the mandate for this," he said.
Shah said that there are provisions in the CAB to preserve the rights of north-eastern states, language, culture, and social identity provisions.
The Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zoroastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
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Last Updated Dec 11, 2019, 1:50 PM IST