Citizenship bill lapses as its fails to muster support in Rajya Sabha
13 February 2019
A bill meant to help Hindus facing persecution in neighbouring countries settle in India lapsed before it could be ratified by Parliament after it failed to be ratified in the Rajya Sabha whose membership is heavily tilted against the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP).
The Citizenship Amendment Bill is aimed at helping Hindus and members of other non-Muslim minority communities in neighbouring Muslim countries move to India. But critics say the legislation is as an attempt by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) burnish its Hindu-nationalist credentials ahead of a general election that is due in May.
The bill was opposed by sections of the opposition in the North East that has a huge population of Bangladeshi migrants.
Ethnically diverse northeastern states where these migrants have been residents for years have complained that migrants from Bangladesh are a burden on society.
The Lok Sabha passed the bill last month but the Rajya Sabha failed to ratify it before the end of the last session, on Wednesday.
Activists in the northeast welcomed parliament’s failure to push the legislation through.
Members of the All Assam Students’ Union, one of the protesting groups, had threatened to “shed blood” to block the bill.
Protests also rocked Manipur, where authorities imposed an indefinite curfew and suspended mobile internet services for five days following violent protests on Tuesday.
Protests also erupted in Mizoram, where activists sought to lent support to old separatists