GUWAHATI: Assam’s finance and health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 would be passed in Parliament in “three to four” months.
He also said that the National Register of Citizens (NRC) would be updated again.
"The wait is for three to four months. There is no need to wait after November or December. We said it before elections and we are saying it now that protecting every Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Jain (immigrant) and giving them citizenship is a duty of the BJP and the BJP will fulfil it,” Sarma said at a rally in southern Assam’s Barak Valley.
Through Bill’s passage in Parliament, the Centre seeks to grant citizenship to immigrants, belonging to six “persecuted” non-Muslim communities, who migrated from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014.
The Bill has been already passed in the Lok Sabha. Various groups and organisations besides opposition parties in the Northeast are opposed to the Bill. They view it as a threat to the indigenous communities.
However, Sarma said by “sheltering” the immigrants, the Centre was not trying to hurt the language, culture or tradition of the indigenous communities.
He also said that the BJP did not believe in the NRC which excluded over 19.06 lakh of the 3.30 crore applicants.
“The BJP doesn’t believe this NRC. We will clearly tell the Supreme Court that the BJP rejects this NRC. Let the Citizenship Bill be passed in Parliament and the children of Bharat Mata secured, the NRC will be updated again. Those smiling now will be crying then,” he said.
BJP’s Hojai MLA also said the updated NRC was neither Geeta nor Mahabharata or Ramayana.
“The NRC has stolen the sleep of many people. But it is neither the Geeta nor the Mahabharata or the Ramayana. Hence, there is no reason to panic. The NRC is not a big deal,” he said.