The Navhind Times Archive

NEW DELHI: Union Ho me Minister Rajnath Singh will talk to different political parties, including those from the Northeast, on the Citizenship Bill, BJP president Amit Shah said Sunday, asserting the legislation is “very important” for the country.

Shah said if any consensus emerges from Singh’s consultations with different parties then they will certainly move forward with that.

He underlined his party’s commitment to the bill, which seeks to grants citizenship to persecuted non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, saying such large number of refugees cannot be left to their fate. “We are firm on this,” he said. “The Home Minister is talking to all parties from Northeast and other parties, which wants to give suggestion during this session. He is talking to them one by one and has already spoken to some parties,” he said at a party event.

Describing the bill as “very important” for the country, he said the BJP has brought it after lot of deliberations.

“After taking suggestions from everybody, if there is some consensus we will certainly move forward with that but this bill is very important for the country,” he said.

Shah’s comments came amid indications from BJP leaders that the government may not push the bill for passage in the ongoing session of Parliament after facing a strong resistance from different parties, including its own allies.

The bill provides for according Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India. The legislation was passed by the Lok Sabha during the Winter session on January 8 and has been awaiting Rajya Sabha nod.

There has been strong opposition in Assam and other Northeastern states against the bill.

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