NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday expressed delight over the passage of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 in the Lok Sabha and lauded Home Minister Amit Shah's efforts in the same.
Taking to Twitter, PM Modi said, " Delighted that Lok Sabha has passed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after a rich & extensive debate. I thank the various MPs and parties that supported the Bill. This Bill is in line with India's centuries-old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values."
"I would like to especially applaud Home Minister Amit Shah Ji for lucidly explaining all aspects of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. He also gave elaborate answers to the various points raised by respective MPs during the discussion in the Lok Sabha," he said in another tweet.
Shah retweeted, "I extend my gratitude to PM @narendramodi for making the historic Citizenship Amendment Bill a reality, that will allow India to open its doors to minorities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who are facing religious persecution. I thank everyone who supported this bill."
"It is well known that those minorities who chose to make Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan their home had to constantly live in the fear of extinction. This amended legislation by Modi govt will allow India to extend them dignity and an opportunity to rebuild their lives", the Home Minister said in another tweet.
The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019, which seeks to give Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday midnight though it was vehemently opposed by the major opposition parties which described it as "anti-Muslim".
However, the government rejected the opposition's claims, saying the Bill does not affect the Muslim community residing in the country.
The draft legislation was passed after division of votes with 311 in its favour and 80 against it, following a marathon debate which continued till 12.06 a.m. on Tuesday after beginning at about 4 p.m. on Monday. A total of 48 Parliamentarians took part in the debate.
The Bill would now be moved in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday to cross its final hurdle before becoming a law to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.