Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 has been passed by the Rajya Sabha, a day after the Lok Sabha approved the controversial law. 125 members of the upper house of parliament voted in favor of the bill, while 105 voted against it.
Rajya Sabha has a total of 245 MPs. Although the current number of MPs is 240. In such a situation, the support of 121 MPs is needed to get a majority on the Citizenship Amendment Bill. The BJP has 83 Rajya Sabha MPs. This means that the BJP will have to garner the support of the other 37 MPs of the Rajya Sabha.
The bill was first introduced in the Lok Sabha on 19 July 2016 and was referred to the Joint Parliamentary Committee on 12 August 2016. The committee submitted its report on 7 January 2019. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha the next day. January 8, 2019, but the bill was not introduced in the Rajya Sabha at that time. As per parliamentary procedure, if a bill is approved by the Lok Sabha but is not passed in the Rajya Sabha, it will be reintroduced in both the Houses.
The bill was approved by 311 votes in Parliament, while 80 MPs voted against the bill. The BJP has issued a whip on December 10 and February 11 for its party’s Rajya Sabha MPs. It is being speculated that the Central Government will try its best to pass this bill in Rajya Sabha also.
What is Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019?
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 will provide Indian citizenship to the six minority communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. These six communities are – Hindu, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Christian and Sikhs.
Currently, it is mandatory for a person to stay here for at least 11 years to get citizenship of India.
The bill will reduce this period to six years. This will enable the people of these communities to get Indian citizenship in six years.
Recently, Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Citizenship Amendment Bill on December 9.