CPI (M) demands withdrawal of CAB
IMPHAL | Jan 11
Communist Party of India (M) calling the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 as ‘a political manifesto of the ruling party’ should be withdrawn.
A press statement by the secretary for CPI (M) Manipur said that the party is opposed to the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 which was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019. The party expressed its solidarity to the movement against the said Bill.
The bill seeks to provide citizenship to people who suffer religious prosecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. The bill covers Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Jains, Parsis who are religious minorities in these countries but not the Muslims.
“The basic aim of the amendment is to divide the people on religious and languages. The Citizenship Act prohibits illegal migrants from acquiring Indian citizenship but the amendment seeks to make certain sections of illegal migrants eligible for citizenship on the basis of religion. This opens the way for religious criteria for citizenship and thus violates Article 14 of the Constitution which guarantees the right to equality. Also the bill is against the preamble of our Constitution which declared India as a sovereign, socialist and secular democratic republic” said the statement.
At present, under the Act, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months, for 11 years of the previous 14 years. The amendment relaxes this eleven year requirements to six years for persons belonging to the six religious communities from the above three countries.
The bill endorsed the Hindutva idea that India is a land of the Hindus and all Hindus living outside the country can come back and have special privileges to claim citizenship, added the statement. In this bill, only the Muslims are singled out for exclusion. The BJP’s policy is to differentiate between Hindu and Muslim migrants and also on religions and languages, it further stated.
The proposed amendment has already met with strong opposition from parties and organisations in Manipur, Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and other NE States who fear that the NE states may be targeted by the immigrants and the Assam Accord which provides March 1971 as cut-off point to determine who can be accorded citizenship will be undermined.
This is a legitimate apprehension and nothing should be done to bypass the general feelings of the people and the Assam Accord which was arrived at after a prolonged agitation and widespread consensus.
While the CPI(M) is opposed to any move to accord citizenship to immigrants on language and religious criteria for citizenship, it is necessary to make provision for the large number of people including Manipuri refugees who had left the erstwhile East Pakistan and then Bangladesh and come to India. There should be a special provision for granting them citizenship with a suitable cut-off date, said the statement by secretary of CPI (M).
The party also appealed to the people to defeat the design of the ruling party and their political manifesto which manifest to divide the unity and integrity of the country.
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