As many as six members of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), which examined the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, gave their dissent notes on report of the panel. The report of the JPC, headed by Rajendra Agrawal of the BJP, was placed in Lok Sabha on Monday.
Congress Rajya Sabha members Bhubaneswar Kalita and Pradip Bhattacharya felt that the Bill may create ethnic divisions in Assam and the rest of the Northeast.
Biju Janata Dal leader Bhartruhari Mahtab stated that the Bill contravened provisions of the principal Act and ran counter to the spirit of the 1985 Assam Accord.
CPM’s Mohammad Salim said the Indian citizenship emanated from the Constitution that granted it as a fundamental right and this right could not be specific to a religion or a country of origin. Saugata Roy and Derek O’Brien of the Trinamool Congress said the Bill brought out the ethnic division in Assam. The Bill, in their view, should not be passed by a sheer majority.
The 440-page report appreciated the government decision to give Indian nationality to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan on the ground that they were being persecuted in those countries.