CPI (M) to hold protest on Feb 4 against Citizenship Bill
New Delhi, Jan 25: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Friday announced to launch nationwide protest on February 4 against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The Bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha and awaits the passage in the Rajya Sabha and is being opposed across the North Eastern states.
In a statement, the Polit Bureau of the CPI (M) said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill infringes on the basic premise of our Constitution of common citizenship regardless of diversities of caste, creed, gender, ethnicity and culture.
"The idea of unity in diversity stands threatened with this proposal which exclusively recognizes religious identity as the basis for citizenship," said the Left party.
Urging the the government not to proceed further with the legislative proposal and withdraw it altogether, the CPI (M) called for protest by the party units all over the countryon February 4 demanding the withdrawal of this proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship after residing in India for six years, as opposed to the current twelve-year requirement. This is applicable to those who came to India before December 31, 2014.
Meanwhile on Friday, the All Manipur Bar Association and the Manipur High Court Bar Association joined hands to hold the silent protest at the Cheirap Court complex at Imphal.
Residents of the North-Eastern states fear that the proposed amendment will lead to an influx of migrants, and therefore, change the demographic composition of the region.
However, the Ministry of Home Affairs has tried to allay fears of the North Eastern states by saying on Tuesday that foreigners would not be granted Indian citizenship without the consent of state governments concerned.
The MHA also said that a proposal to "provide incentives to those people who want to settle anywhere in India, except the North East" is currently under consideration.