He said they will continue to enjoy the rights given to them as citizens of the country. Moving the Bill in the Rajya Sabha for consideration and passing, Shah said that a misconception has been created that the legislation is against a particular community, which is not true. He assured the Muslim community not to worry about the legislation as there is nothing against them in it.
Allying fears of the people from the North-Eastern States, the Home Minister said the bill will not affect their interests. He said the NDA government is committed to preserving their cultural, social and linguistic identities. Shah said the legislation will give bring a new light into the lives of the people who were facing religious persecution in neighbouring countries, namely Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. He said these people who have been living in India for decades will be given all kinds of rights and facilities.
Shah said the BJP had mentioned in its manifesto that the party will do justice to the religiously persecuted living in India, and the legislation has been brought to end their suffering. Initiating the discussion on the bill, Anand Sharma of Congress alleged that it is against the basic structure of the Constitution. He said religion was never the basis whenever amendments were made to the Constitution to give citizenship.
Earlier, Chairman, M. Venkaiah Naidu rejected the objection by Sukhendu Shekar Roy of TMC that the bill is faulty in nature and this should be taken into consideration. The members from Congress and the Left Parties have moved a motion to send the bill to the Select Committee.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants of six communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship. The communities are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians.