New Delhi, December 9:
The Congress on Monday opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in Lok Sabha saying it is against the Constitution as it discriminates against refugees on the basis of religion.
Initiating the debate on the Bill, Congress member Manish Tewari said the government has come up with the measure for a political motive “which everyone knows”, but did not elaborate.
Referring to the provisions in the Constitution, he said, the Bill was violative of the provisions of Articles 14, 15, 21, 25 and 26.
These Articles mainly deal with right to equality and equal protection of law to everyone irrespective of caste, colour, creed or religion.
“The bill is against the Constitution, against the spirit of Constitution and against the ideology propounded by Babasaheb Ambedkar,” Tewari said.
Discrimination on the basis of religion, he further said, was not in tune with the Preamble of the Constitution which specifically mentions the word ‘secularism’.
“Secularism is embedded in the Constitution,” he said.
As per the UN Convention, he said, the government cannot discriminate against refugees on the basis of religion.
Refuting the contention that the Congress was responsible for partition of the country, Tewari alleged that it was Savarkar who propagated the idea of partition at a Hindu Mahasabha meeting in 1935.
DMK member Dayanidhi Maran claimed the government has not taken a single step to win the hearts of minorities and the bill was against the spirit of India’s age-old ethos of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (world is a family).
“You are preoccupied with Pakistan,” he said, and added that Amit Shah has failed to realise that he is the Home Minister of entire India and not just of North India.
TMC leader Abhishek Banerjee said that his party’s idea of India was “inclusive” unlike the ruling party’s idea of a “divisive” nation.
“Our India smiles. Your idea of India is based on mob lynching. Let me tell you whatever may happen there wouldn’t be any NRC in West Bengal,” Banerjee said.
According to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.