NEW DELHI: Quoting Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sucheta Kriplani and Bhupendra Singh Mahant, Union Minister for Home Affairs Rajnath Singh on Tuesday said that prominent leaders in the past had envisioned and championed the idea to shelter religiously persecuted people in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, while stressing that Assam’s burden will be country’s burden before the Lok Sabha passed the Citizenship (amendment) bill.
The lower house witnessed strong with treasury benches sparring during discussions over the Bill. “This bill is not Assam specific. Assam’s burden is the country’s burden. The whole country will stand with Assam and all measures will be taken to mitigate any hardships. The state has seen an excessive inflow of illegal migrants,” Singh said.
The Congress, which staged a walkout, opposed the bill on the grounds that it was against the Assam and Nagaland Accords. Leader of the Opposition Mallikarjuna Kharge said a number of states also have reservations. “Since the bill involves Constitutional matters, let it be referred to the Select Committee for wider consultations,” Kharge demanded.
Trinamool Congress leader Saugata Roy said, “We have no objections if the Bill restricts its ambit just to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Bangladesh should be deleted since similar provisions aren’t being made for Sri Lanka and Nepal,” Roy said. He added that the bill is targeted towards about 28 lakh Hindus of the total 40.70 lakh in Assam who have not been included in the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) of the state. Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader Bhartruhari Mahtab also echoed Roy.