Citizenship (Amendment ) Bill
File photo of a protest against Citizenship Amendment Bill | ANI
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New Delhi: BJP ally Janata Dal (United)’s decision to support the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha did not find support within the party, with two senior leaders, Prashant Kishor and Pavan Varma, expressing disappointment.

“Disappointed to see JDU supporting #CAB that discriminates right of citizenship on the basis of religion. It’s incongruous with the party’s constitution that carries the word secular thrice on the very first page and the leadership that is supposedly guided by Gandhian ideals,” tweeted Kishor, JD(U)’s national vice-president.

Kishor had tweeted against the BJP earlier as well.

Voicing his dissent over the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that the BJP plans to implement nationwide, Kishor had tweeted last month: “15 plus states with more than 55% of India’s population have non-BJP chief ministers. Wonder how many of them are consulted and are on- board for NRC in their respective states!”

The bill seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they faced religious persecution there. The bill was passed by 311-80 votes in the Lok Sabha after hours of intense debate Monday. It will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha Wednesday.

Bill is discriminatory, says Varma

Varma, JD(U)’s national general secretary and spokesperson, termed the citizenship bill “unconstitutional and discriminatory”.

Urging JD(U) chief and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to reconsider supporting the bill, the author-diplomat said, “The Bill is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and against the unity and harmony of the country, apart from being against the secular principles of the JDU. Gandhi ji would have strongly disapproved (of) it.”

When the bill was presented in the Lok Sabha by Home Minister Amit Shah Monday, the JD(U) voted in favour of it. JD(U) representative in the Lower House Rajiv Ranjan alias Lalan Singh said the bill was “not against secularism”.

The party was, however, initially against both the citizenship bill and the NRC.

Also read: Over 1,000 scientists oppose citizenship bill, say it violates spirit of Constitution


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