Thursday, 18 August, 2022
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India informed US Congress about citizenship bill before it was moved in Lok Sabha

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which has triggered several protests across India, has now been cleared by both Houses of Parliament.

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New Delhi: The Modi government had taken the US Congress into confidence on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 the day it was passed by the Lok Sabha earlier this week, sources told ThePrint.

According to official sources, it’s a practice for India and the US to share important policy decisions of mutual interest. This is why, they said, the US Congress was informed about the bill before it was presented for passage in Parliament Monday.

The bill, which has triggered several protests across India, has now been cleared by both Houses of Parliament.

Speaking to ThePrint, the aforementioned sources also said that even though discussions were already underway at the diplomatic level, Indian missions in some key countries such as the US and the UK were told to “immediately” have discussions with the local political leadership once the bill was passed.

However, hours after the bill was passed by the Lok Sabha, a foreign affairs panel of the House of Representatives, the lower chamber of the US Congress, had slammed India for what it referred to as a “religious test for citizenship”.

The proposed law, it added, threatened religious pluralism, a “basic democratic tenet”.

The same day, the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), a bipartisan federal group, also sought sanctions on Home Minister Amit Shah and leaders in the Narendra Modi government if the bill was passed in both Houses of Parliament.

Speaking to the media Thursday, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India expected members of the US Congress to take New Delhi’s views into account before “drawing a conclusion” on the matter.

“We have reached out to the members (both Republicans and Democrats) of the US Congress. The US Congress has been supportive of us on issues of mutual interest …” he added.

“We have also reached out to other stakeholders on the bill,” he said, adding that India had tried to reach all the countries that had approached the government to understand the nuances of the citizenship bill.

‘No locus standi’

India had rejected both statements from the US panels, particularly the one made by the USCIRF, stating that it had no “locus standi on the matter”.

“The Bill provides expedited consideration for Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities already in India from certain contiguous countries,” Kumar had said Tuesday, adding that the bill seeks “to address their current difficulties and meet their basic human rights”.

The European Union Ambassador to India, Ugo Astuto, also said that he hoped the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would be implemented in keeping with standards set by the Indian Constitution.


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2 COMMENTS

  1. US administration also knew about the removal of Article 370 before it took place as Trump mentioned in a tweet.
    This is what happens in Indo-US bhai-bhai relationship.
    There are many more to come.

  2. The fun is yet to come.
    This is only ACT 1 Scene 3
    This drama against the Muslims has just begun.
    ACT 2 of the Drama will be the citizens test
    We will ensure half the Kattus fail this test
    Any Miahs who get too uppity will fail the test
    The government is building detention centres
    Muslims will live in fear of the Hindu
    Any infraction will lead to a Muslim being stateless, without rights.
    We will have a legal mechanism to do this.
    As a Hindu country we have the right to take away citizenship from a Muslim

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