BJP ally Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday hailed the Centre’s decision to introduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament, saying that a long-pending demand of the party had been accepted. However, it said the Bill must cover all persecuted people, irrespective of religion.
It said that keeping in view the country’s socialistic, secular and democratic credentials and humanitarian principles, Muslims should not be excluded from the Bill.
A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the party’s core committee which was presided over by SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal. Sukhbir said the party had been raising the issue of more than 75,000 Sikhs who fled Afghanistan more than 30 years ago. “The Citizenship Amendment Bill not only franchises them but also protects their life and liberty as per the Constitution.”