NEW DELHI: Calling the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 unconstitutional and a move to cover up loopholes in the National Register of Citizens, the opposition slammed the Centre for pushing the Bill in pursuit of the BJP’s Hindutva agenda. Many opposition members demanded in the Rajya Sabha that the Bill be referred to the select committee as it won’t stand the scrutiny of law. Senior Congress leader P Chidamabaram dared the government to reveal who gave the legal opinion on the law. He said the Bill provides citizenship by arbitrary executive of fiat.
“We are elected representative of people...We (MPs) are being asked to do something unconstitutional...and then you are pushing it (Bill) to lap of the judiciary and the unelected lawyers and judges will decide what you have done is constitutional or not. This is a slap in the face of Parliament. The Centre is ramming this in pursuit of Hindutva agenda,” said Chidamabaram.
Trinamool MP Derek O’Brien said that the Bill was a move to turn democracy to dictatorship. “There is an eerie similarity in what was passed in Germany and what could be passed today as there are clauses in this Bill that are similar to what the Nazis had introduced. There were concentration camps back then and today there are detention centres in Assam which house lakhs of Bengali Hindus,” he said.
Attacking the Modi government, Congress leader Kapil Sibal said those who had no idea of India cannot protect the idea of India. Many members from the Northeast raised concern over the states in the region feared to be burdened with extra rush of immigrants. Sikkim Democratic Front MP Hisley Lachung demanded that the Inner Line Permit be extended to the state.