New Delhi: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Thursday (December 19) posted a video of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on its Twitter account, in a bid to gather support for the Citizenship Amendment Act brought forth by the government. 

A video dating back to 2003 shows the former Prime Minister explaining in the Rajya Sabha that minorities in countries like Bangladesh faced persecution after Partition.


Along with the video, the BJP said, "In 2003, speaking in Rajya Sabha, Dr Manmohan Singh, then Leader of Opposition, asked for a liberal approach to granting citizenship to minorities, who are facing persecution, in neighbouring countries such as Bangladesh and Pakistan. Citizenship Amendment Act does just that."

The law offers citizenship to Pakistani, Afghan and Bangladeshi illegal immigrants who fled their home countries to escape religious persecution.

The Act will facilitate the acquisition of citizenship by six identified minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who came to India before December 31, 2014.

The proposed amendment in the Act will make these persecuted migrants eligible for citizenship. Under the proposed amendment, the minimum residency period for citizenship is being reduced from the existing 12 years under the present law to 7 years.

However, citizenship will be given to them only after due scrutiny and recommendation of district authorities and the state government.