8,253.80-343.95
Stock Analysis, IPO, Mutual Funds, Bonds & More

Citizenship Amendment Bill: Rajasthan CM Ashok Gehlot, Deputy CM Sachin Pilot protest

Ashok Gehlot questioned the “intentions” behind the bill and said the BJP “was not listening to the opposition” over the legislation, Sachin Pilot questioned why religion for the first time was being made a criterion to decide citizenship when there were existing parameters on which a migrant’s record is checked.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Dec 12, 2019, 08.41 AM IST
0Comments
1
Ashok Gehlot with Sachin Pilot.
JAIPUR: The border state of Rajasthan, which has accounted for over half the total citizenships granted by India in the last three years to migrants from the six religions covered the proposed Citizenship Amendment Act and has probably among the biggest group of migrants who stand to benefit from it, has now lodged its protest over the legislation.

The Congress-ruled state saw its Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and Deputy Chief Minister Sachin Pilot hold a protest in Jaipur on Wednesday against the proposed legislation on a day the bill was debated in the Rajya Sabha. While Gehlot questioned the “intentions” behind the bill and said the BJP “was not listening to the opposition” over the legislation, Pilot questioned why religion for the first time was being made a criterion to decide citizenship when there were existing parameters on which a migrant’s record is checked. Both however stopped short of saying that the CAB will not be rolled out in Rajasthan, like West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee has announced.

After Home Minister Amit Shah said in Parliament that Gehlot as Rajasthan CM earlier had recommended to then Home Minister P. Chidambaram to grant citizenship to Hindu and Sikh migrants from Pakistan, Gehlot said if the migrants were of any other religion, he would have made the same recommendation. “Shah is misleading the country with this statement,” he said.

Rajasthan and West Bengal are key states as far as implementation of the CAB is concerned, a senior official at the Centre told ET. In the last three years, around 2,447 migrants from the six religions specified under the CAB were granted citizenship by India and 1,310 of them were granted citizenship in Rajasthan. A majority of these 1,310 people were migrants from Pakistan. In 2016, the Centre had delegated the power to district magistrates of 16 districts and seven state governments to grant citizenship to migrants. Three of these districts are in Rajasthan, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer and Jaipur, with Jodhpur accounting for 1,113 citizenships granted. As per an estimate, over 20,000 Pakistani migrants living in Rajasthan are awaiting citizenship as present rules say they can only get the same after completing 11 years of stay in India. The new bill brings down that limit to 5 years, making all who entered India before December 31, 2014 eligible immediately for citizenship.

“The opposition is not being listened to in the CAB. What is the intention behind the act? The US knows it and the European Union knows it. The Citizenship Act has been amended eight times earlier without any problem – why so many protests now? There is violence in the North-East,” Gehlot said on Wednesday in Jaipur. Deputy CM Sachin Pilot said the criteria for citizenship to migrants so far was if the person had a crime record or not, if he had faith in the constitution and to ensure he was not an enemy of the nation. “Citizenship was denied if those parameters were not favourable. But for the first time, religion has been made a criterion which is violate of Article 14. Why deny citizenship due to one’s religion?” Pilot said, saying the act was to deflect attention from the failing economy and rising inflation.

Also Read

IUML moves SC challenging Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

Citizenship Amendment Bill: Why Assam is protesting?

Will Citizenship Amendment Bill legalise religious discrimination?

Citizenship Amendment Bill passed in Lok Sabha

Citizenship Amendment Bill introduced in Lok Sabha

Comments
Add Your Comments
Commenting feature is disabled in your country/region.

Other useful Links


Copyright © 2020 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service