NEW DELHI: Asserting that the Citizenship Amendment Bill is very important for the country, BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday said that Home Minister Rajnath Singh will discuss the legislation with all parties, including those from the Northeast.
Speaking at a party event, Shah said, “The home minister is talking to all parties from the Northeast and other parties, which want to give suggestion during this session. He is talking to them one by one and has already spoken to some parties.” Shah also said that the BJP will move forward with any consensus that would be reached as a result of the discussions.
Underlining the BJP’s commitment to the legislation, Shah said a large number of refugees cannot be left to their fates and added that his party was firm on pushing the Bill through. The Citizenship Bill aims to grant citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
Shah’s comments come at a time when leaders have indicated that the party may not push for the passage of the Bill in Parliament following stiff resistance from different quarters, including some allies. The legislation has already been passed in the Lok Sabha and is pending with the Upper House.
The Bill has faced strong resistance in Assam, where ally Asom Gana Parishad pulled out of the NDA, and other Northeastern states, leave the state staring at a potential political crisis. Well-known Manipuri director Aribam Syam Sharma has also returned the Padma Shri, which was conferred on him in 2006, in protest against the Bill.
The move to push the Citizenship Amendment Bill also sparked violent protests in other northeastern states.
Meanwhile, calling for Opposition parties not to cause hindrance in the resolution of the Ram Temple issue, the BJP chief termed the Centre’s move to return excess land around the disputed site in Ayodha as historic.
He said the BJP wants a grand temple of Lord Ram at the very site, where he is believed to have been born, in Ayodhya at the earliest and dared the Opposition to make their stand clear on the issue.
It is believed that the return of the land — if allowed by the court — is likely to result in the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas, which is dedicated to the construction of the temple, starting work on building it and giving a political boost to the saffron party ahead of the parliamentary elections.