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Government set to push citizenship bill during winter session

The winter session begins on November 18 and will last till December 13. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the definition of illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It will make Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist,...

Updated: Nov 16, 2019, 08.22 AM IST
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The bill had lapsed following the dissolution of the last Lok Sabha.

NEW DELHI: The winter session of Parliament is likely to be stormy with the Centre planning to introduce a fresh version of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill for consideration and passage in the Lok Sabha.

The Lok Sabha has listed 22 new bills for introduction, consideration and passage. Bills pending with the standing committees and the Upper House may also come up during the session. The Opposition is likely to demand discussions on the situation in Jammu and Kashmir after the abrogation of Article 370, the slowdown in the economy and international issues such as India’s decision to opt out of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) among others.

The winter session begins on November 18 and will last till December 13. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the definition of illegal immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. It will make Hindu, Sikh, Christian, Buddhist, Jain and Parsi migrants from these three countries who have lived in India for six years illegal.

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The bill provides that the registration of Overseas Citizen of India (OCI) cardholders may be cancelled if they violate any law.. Home minister Amit Shah had earlier announced that the government will bring the bill in Parliament soon. Congress, Left parties, Trinamool Congress and other parties have strongly opposed the bill. Other important bills listed for introduction include The Medical Termination of Pregnancy (Amendment) Bill, 2019; The Healthcare Service Personnel and Clinical Establishments (Prohibition of Violence and Damage of Property) Bill, 2019; The Industrial Relations Code Bill, 2019 and The Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens (Amendment) Bill, 2019. Bills to replace two ordinances will also come up for discussion and passage. These are The Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and The Prohibition of Electronic Cigarettes (Production, Manufacture, Import, Export, Sale, Distribution, Storage and Advertisement) Bill, 2019. The Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 to include a chapter on cross-border Insolvency will also be introduced. The Opposition is likely to raise the Jammu and Kashmir issue where political leaders from various parties are still under house arrest and complete normalcy is yet to be restored. The controversy over the “sponsored” visit of some European Union lawmakers will also be raised. The political developments in Maharashtra and Karnataka may also be discussed.

The economic slowdown is also a major issue that the Opposition is likely to flag in the upcoming session. Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla has called an all-party meeting on Sunday to hear all sides and reach a broad consensus on smooth functioning of Parliament. Parliamentary affairs minister Pralhad Joshi has also invited all parties having representation in both Houses to discuss the issues related to the session.

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