Hours after Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in Parliament, Opposition parties launched a blistering attack on the Modi government saying that the Bill not only violates the fundamental values of the Indian republic but also validates the “two-nation theory” that led to the division of the country in 1947.
Taking part in the debate, Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of the Congress party in Lok Sabha, said Modi government wants to attack minorities through the Bill.
“Citizenship Amendment Bill attacks Article 14. The concept of citizenship cannot be read in isolation but has to be read with articles enunciated in the Constitution,” said Chowdhury.
All-India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) leader Asaduddin Owaisi launched a stinging attack on HM Amit Shah and evoked Hitler to make his point in Parliament.
“I appeal to you (Speaker), save country from such a law and save Home Minister also otherwise like in Nuremberg race laws and Israel’s citizenship act, Home Minister’s name will be featured with Hitler and David Ben-Gurion,” said Owaisi. However, his comment was expunged from the record.
Congress leader Shashi Tharoor criticised the Bill saying that it violates the fundamental values of the Constitution. Speaking in Parliament, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said, “CAB is an assault on the foundational values of our republic. Should religion decide nationhood?” he questioned, adding, “The Bill is against the structure of our Constitution”.
Tharoor also submitted his dissent arguing that the Bill violates the fundamental rights to equality prescribed by Article 14 of the Constitution since it infringes upon the principle of “equality before law” and the “equal protection of laws”.
CPM leader PR Natarajan demanded amendment in the Bill appealing the government to delete controversial portion of the Bill. “Delete: belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian Community from Afghanistan, Bangladesh or Pakistan,” reads his dissent-note. Badruddin Ajmal of the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) also staged protest in Parliament premises against CAB.