Tribune News Service
New Delhi, December 7
Backing the Narendra Modi government fully on the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the RSS has said that “the attempt to correct a historical wrong need to be supported by all political parties”.
It said that “it should not be confused or linked” to the National Register of Citizens—the NRC.
According to a top Sangh official, “Persecuted minorities cannot be compared to the illegal immigrants in the country and those who are opposing the legislation are doing so only for the sake of opposition.”
The Sangh has also created a website on “everything you want to know about CAB”, which, among other issues, also has “views expressed by politicians, including from the Congress and Left, on the issue related to granting citizenship to Hindus from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution”.
Expressing confidence on the Bill sailing through Parliament, he said, “Majority of non-BJP/NDA parties would vote with the government. We need to come out of the soft state we have become.”
“We (BJP/RSS) are not against other minorities (Muslims). Give them a work permit so that they can work in India, that is what most other countries do, but to compare persecuted minorities in other countries to illegal immigrants in India is wrong,” he replied to the queries on whether CAB was a precursor/part of the NRC, another controversial move that Home Minister Amit Shah plans to execute before the 2024 general election.
However, with Shah asserting that the Centre will implement both the NRC and CAB determinedly, the debate over “two interlinked issues” is intensifying.
While detractors see the two legislations as part of larger agenda of a “Hindutva rashtra”, the Sangh says the two issues cannot be linked. “It is incorrect to align CAB with NRC; they are two separate issues,” the Sangh leader insisted.
The Sangh leader, who claimed that anywhere between “two crore and three crore” minority migrants would benefit from India’s move, said CAB “is not an organisation’s or a party’s issue but a national issue. All parties have favoured it at some point in time or other and those who are opposing it need to be exposed”.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is expected to be introduced in Parliament on Monday and taken up for consideration and passage the next day, sources say. The government is in “more than a comfortable position” to ensure its smooth passage not just in the Lower House but also the Upper House, government sources say on the Bill that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution.
Though the Shiv Sena has parted ways with the government, it is expected to support the legislation; so is the JD(U) from which a whole lot of resistance was witnessed earlier.
So far as the Rajya Sabha is concerned, the government’s confidence stems from the support from “non-UPA, non-NDA” regional parties that have helped the treasury benches through critical moments in the last Lok Sabha.
While the BJP leaders claim the support of more than 125 members in the Rajya Sabha where the present strength is 238, the Sangh believes eventually everyone will “support one way or the other”.
The Bill safeguards interests of the people of northeastern states; in fact, it is not a northeast issue at all,” he said on the Bill that has given exemption to the Inner Line Permit (ILP) regime areas like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram.
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