Citizenship Bill: Opposition parties to counter BJP

Twelve opposition parties, including the Congress held a meeting on Thursday and decided on an eight-point agenda to counter the BJP on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which is likely to be tabled in Parliament next week, PTI reported.

The meeting of senior Rajya Sabha members of opposition parties such as the Congress, Trinamool Congress, DMK, Aam Aadmi Party, Samajwadi Party, CPI and CPI(M), was held in Leader of Opposition in Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad’s chamber.

The eight-point agenda, that the opposition parties will put before the people in the next five days, states that the bill is against everything the country’s founding fathers envisioned and it lays down multiple grounds for citizenship for one country, sources said.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the party will oppose the bill aimed at providing citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

“Congress party is against any form of discrimination against anybody in this country. So anybody who discriminates against anybody who is Indian, we are against them. That is our line. We believe that India belongs to everybody– all communities, all religions, all cultures,” Gandhi told reporters in Kozhikode.

According to PTI reports, Congress chief Sonia Gandhi will discuss with senior party leaders and like-minded parties to give shape to the her party’s response to the bill.

“This is not about Lok Sabha or Rajya Sabha numbers, but about preserving the very heart and soul of country and what our founding fathers stood for. Opposition parties have all agreed that over the next five days we will expose the complete falsehood of the BJP on CAB. Mamata Banerjee has rejected NRC in West Bengal and more states will follow,” TMC leader O’Brien said.

“NRC and CAB are two sides of the same coin and the opposition is united against it,” said CPI’s D Raja.

“We are opposing CAB because it’s against the Constitution. Why are they bothered about Bangladesh/Pakistan and not India ?,They aim to convert the country into a Hindu Rashtra, it’s against Constitution,” AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owasii who has been vocal critic of Modi govt’s anti muslim projects including CAB told media.

“Bill is violative of the fundamentals of the Indian Constitution & will fundamentally alter the character of the Indian Republic. The Bill must be withdrawn,” CPIM said in it’s official statement.

Notwithstanding stiff opposition, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is likely to be introduced in Lok Sabha on December 9 and will be taken up for discussion and passage the next day.

Meanwhile, United Against Hate (UAH), a collective of activists called for the protest against the Citizenship Amendment Bill and National Register of Citizens. UAH will conduct a protest demonstration at Delhi’s Jantar Mantar on Saturday.

With inputs from PTI

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