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Barasat: Although the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, has not been listed for the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha in the on-going session of the Parliament, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once again expressed his government’s intention to make the Bill a reality.

Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, cleared by the Lok Sabha last month, seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim immigrants from neighbouring countries including Bangladesh. It now needs to be cleared by the Rajya Sabha to become a law.

But a sizeable section of the civil society in Assam and the regional parties in the northeast, including several BJP allies, are waging a vigorous agitation to scuttle the legislation.

This is because they apprehend that lakhs of Bangladeshi Hindu immigrants will become citizens and thus, endanger the rights of the local communities.

As a result of this, the BJP-led Central government has not listed the Citizenship Bill in the proceedings of the Rajya Sabha in the ongoing Budget Session of the Parliament, scheduled to end on 13 February.

But that the government hasn’t shelved the plan altogether has become clear in the Prime Minister’s public speech at Thakurnagar in North 24-Parganas in Bengal today.

Thakurnagar is the seat of Matua Mahasangha ~ a Hindu socio-religious body of immigrant Bengalis from erstwhile East Pakistan.

“I request Trinamool to support the Citizenship Bill. This Bill will mitigate the sufferings of our Hindu, Sikh, Christian brothers and sisters who were forced to leave their native places and take shelter in this country,” the PM said today.

The speculation is that Modi government might introduce the Bill in the few concluding days of the Budget Session or, may make it an ordinance that will turn the Bill a law subject to ratification by the Rajya Sabha in three months.

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