NDA allies BJD, AIADMK and SAD supported the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday but expressed concerns over the exclusion of Muslims from the purview of the legislation.
While the BJD said the government has a duty to allay concerns about non-inclusion of Muslims, AIADMK raised the issue of Tamils from Sri Lanka, including Muslims, not being part of the Bill.
The SAD welcomed the Bill but said the legislation should have only talked about minorities from neighbouring countries without specifying religions.
BJD’s Sasmit Patra contended that the CAB and NRC are two different propositions and the Bill should not be viewed through a communal lens. “I have three suggestions. Include Sri Lanka where many Hindus and Muslims are being persecuted and do not link it to NRC. Also the government has a duty to allay the criticism and concerns about the non-inclusion of Muslims…”
AIADMK’s S R Balasubramanium said, “We are concerned about Tamils from Sri Lanka, who have been living here for years, and are not included in this Bill.”
Balwinder Singh Bhunder of SAD said, “We suggest just say minorities from neighbouring countries rather than specifying religions.”