The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, will be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
Congress’ parliamentary strategy group chaired by party president Sonia Gandhi will meet on Sunday to strategise on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, sources said. The party is likely to strongly oppose the bill which is expected to be tabled on Monday.
The bill seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had already said the party will oppose the bill.
The bill, cleared by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday, will be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday. Members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan facing persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship when the proposed amendments to the six-decade-old Citizenship Act come into effect.
The CAB was an election promise of the BJP in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls. The BJP-led NDA government had introduced the bill in its previous tenure and got the Lok Sabha’s approval. But it did not introduce it in the Rajya Sabha, apparently due to vehement protests in the Northeast. The bill lapsed following the dissolution of the last Lok Sabha.