Bengaluru: The Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) with 311 'ayes' and 80 'noes'. 

The bill promises citizenship to persecuted non-Muslims from the countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. 

Now, the bigger hurdle for BJP is to pass it in Rajya Sabha. 

Several leaders, cutting across party lines, have expressed their displeasure over the bill. 

One of them is WB CM Mamata Banerjee. Though she alleges there can’t be discrimination on the grounds of religion, the BJP says she is using this as a ploy to help Bangladeshi infiltrators come into Indian territory so that her electoral prospects would improve. 

WB BJP leader Rahul Sinha feels that Mamata Banerjee has a problem with NRC and CAB because she fears losing her vote bank of infiltrators who have come from Bangladesh. He alleged that the infiltrators did not come on their own, they were brought by CPI(M) and TMC to strengthen their vote bank and the NRC will expel such infiltrators from the country.

The bill claims to benefit several refugees. Here’s how. 

On getting citizenship of India, all legal proceedings against them in respect of their illegal migration or citizenship will be closed. 

There are however certain exceptions to the bill. 

The bill says that the provisions on citizenship for illegal migrants will not apply to the tribal areas of Assam, Meghalaya, Mizoram, or Tripura, as included in the Sixth Schedule to the Constitution.

These tribal areas include Karbi Anglong (in Assam), Garo Hills (in Meghalaya), Chakma District (in Mizoram), and Tripura Tribal Areas District. It will also not apply to the areas under the Inner Line” under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873. (As reported by Economic Times) 

Meanwhile, Sri Sri Ravishankar, founder of Art of Living has urged the centre to look into the issue of granting citizenship to more than 1 lakh Tamil Sri Lankans who are living there as refugees for the last 35 years.