BJP to unleash campaign for Citizenship Amendment Bill to help persecuted Hindus and non-Muslim
New Delhi, Sep 22: As the matter was very extensively discussed by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in its national executive meeting in Delhi, now the party is about to launch a mass reach out programme over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The Bill facilitates Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship.
Sources said that the BJP asked all its chief ministers to get all provisions of the proposed Bill to be translated into local languages of their state, get them printed as pamphlets and distribute them to people. There are a big number of persecuted refuges living in India as illegal migrants.
This is to recall that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016, but it got stuck because of strong opposition from different quarters. As per the existing provisions of the Citizenship Act, 1955, the applicant must have lived in India during the past 12 months and for 11 of the previous 14 years to apply for Indian citizenship. But the amendment proposes to replace the 11-year clause to six years for people belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jains, Parsi and Christian communities.
Sources said that the national BJP president Amit Shah discussed this outreach programme at a meeting with chief ministers of the BJP-ruled states in New Delhi last month. Shah spoke about it in the national executive and many other forums.
The BJP president has strongly backed the bill in the past and has asked the Opposition political parties to clear their stand on this issue. A BJP leader said that the programme was targeted at the northeastern states, West Bengal, Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan where lots of such people are living. However, a huge number of Hindu refugees like in Madhya Pradesh and many other parts of the country including Delhi.
Sources said that the Bill is also being opposed by certain other quarters for Muslims not included in it by saying that Shia and Ahmadia too are persecuted but the BJP was of the view that persecuted people from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh are given citizenship who don't have any other place to look at.
BJP critiques say that it was a deliberate move to throw Muslims out and Hindus in with the help of National Citizenship Register and Citizenship Bill but the BJP leaders say that NRC is very important on many counts as it is not only impacting demographic change in the country but impacting cultural and linguistic change besides posing threat to national security. NRC is meant for identifies infiltrators from Bangladesh while the citizenship bill talks about citizenship to persecuted Hindus and non-Muslim minorities.