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As govt reaches out to US Congress to share views, its member slams Citizenship Amendment Bill

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee had voiced concerns over the Bill, noting that any religious test for citizenship undermines pluralism, which is one of the core shared values for both India and the US.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published: December 13, 2019 1:29:01 am
Asked about the panel’s observation, Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the government of India’s views on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has already been articulated in Parliament.

As the government said it has reached out to members of the US Congress and other stakeholders to share its perspective on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, US Congressman André Carson slammed the legislation and said the move is yet another attempt to “effectively reduce Muslims in India to second-class citizens”.

The US House Foreign Affairs Committee had voiced concerns over the Bill, noting that any religious test for citizenship undermines pluralism, which is one of the core shared values for both India and the US.

Read | Echo from ground zero Guwahati: ‘Centre trying to use same tactics like they did in Kashmir’

Asked about the panel’s observation, Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said the government of India’s views on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has already been articulated in Parliament.

“We have reached out to the members of the US Congress, we have reached out to other stakeholders to share our perspective on the Bill,” he said. “We feel that given our strong engagement with the Congress and other stakeholders in the US on matters of mutual interest, we expect that the members of the US Congress will take into account our views before drawing a conclusion on the Bill.”

US Congressman Carson, one of three Muslim members currently serving in Congress, said in a statement on Thursday, “…this action is not unexpected, considering the history of Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party and its connections to strident communalism. This move is yet another attempt to effectively reduce Muslims in India to second-class citizens.”

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