‘Congress divided India on religious lines’: Amit Shah cites partition to defend Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Lok Sabha

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Published: December 9, 2019 3:32:19 PM

Home minister directly accused the Congress of dividing the country on religious lines.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, amit shahUnion Home Minister Amit Shah (ANI)

Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday strongly defended the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, saying it would not have been needed had the Congress not divided the country on the basis of religion. During a heated debate in the Lok Sabha ahead of the Bill being taken up for consideration by Parliament, the Home minister directly accused the Congress of dividing the country on religious lines.

“Why do we need this Bill today? After Independence, if Congress had not carried out partition of the country on the basis on religion, today we would have not needed this Bill. Congress did partition on the basis of religion,” Shah told the Lower House of Parliament, as per ANI.

Maintaining that Muslims from neighbouring countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh had no reason to worry, Shah added, “If any Muslim from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh applies for citizenship as per our law, we will consider it with an open heart.

“In Pakistan Afghanistan and Bangladesh, Sikhs, Hindus,Buddhists,Christians,Parsis and Jains have been discriminated against. The bill will give citizenship to these persecuted people. The accusations that this bill will take away rights of Muslims is not right,” Shah said further.

Meanwhile, protests were held in the Parliament complex and elsewhere in the national capital as well as the country against the bill. Even as IUML MPs protested against the bill in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue in Parliament complex, AIUDF protested at the Jantar Mantar, holding placards.

The bill is also facing huge opposition in Assam. People in the state fear that the CAB, if passed in Parliament, will make ineffective the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which had fixed March 24, 1971, as cut-off date for deportation of illegal immigrants of any religion.

Shops were closed in Guwahati after a shutdown call by a number of organisations which are opposing the bill. Protests were also witnessed in West Bengal and Tripura. The Bill is set to be taken up for discussion and passage in the Lok Sabha today.

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