NEW DELHI, Nov 15 - Notwithstanding the wave of protests in the North East over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the Centre has again listed the Bill for introduction and passage in the Lok Sabha.
The CAB is among 27 Bills that the government proposes to bring during the Winter Session of Parliament that gets under way on Monday.
An advance bulletin circulated by the Lok Sabha Secretariat has listed the CAB. �To amend the definition of illegal migrant, reduction in the number of years of residency period to obtain Indian citizenship through naturalisation and to empower the Central government to cancel the registration of Overseas Citizen of India card in case of any violations. Introduction, consideration and passing,� the notification said.
Sources said the CAB is likely to have similar provisions like the old bill, which proposes a cutoff date of December 31, 2014, making the Assam Accord redundant. The Bill envisages protection of Hindu migrants who have fled the neighbouring countries of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan because of religious persecution.
The Centre will take a call on when to introduce the Bill, as the Union Cabinet will have to approve it for introduction and passage. The Bill will be piloted by Home Minister Amit Shah. Interestingly, the government has again taken the Lok Sabha route to re-introduce the Bill and pass it, given the majority it enjoys in the lower house. Speaker Om Birla will meet the leaders of parties in the Lok Sabha on Saturday, during which the government will consult the Opposition about the list of business to be conducted.
Meanwhile, member of the Business Advisory Committee and Rajya Sabha MP Biren Baishya said he was unaware as to when the government proposes to introduce the CAB in Parliament. �Prime Minister, Narendra Modi has convened a meeting of the NDA on Sunday, which will be preceded by an all-party meeting convened by Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu,� he said.
Baishya�s party Asom Gana Parishad, which is part of the NDA, has so far not disclosed its position on the CAB. Last time, when the Bill was introduced, the AGP had walked out of the alliance after snapping its ties with the BJP.
Baishya said it was his belief that the Bill, which has generated much heat in the North East, may be brought towards the end of the winter session. �I will know the details after I attend these important meetings on Sunday,� Baishya told The Assam Tribune over phone.
The Bill, like last time, has agitated the NDA allies. While Manipur has openly opposed the Bill, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh have also expressed opposition. Following strong protests in the North East and to avoid a direct confrontation with its allies, the BJP, which was unsure about its numbers in the Rajya Sabha, did not press ahead with the Bill. However, the situation has changed since then, as in a major political victory for the Narendra Modi government, the triple talaq Bill cleared the Rajya Sabha hurdle. Put to vote after a lengthy debate, the triple talaq Bill was passed in the Rajya Sabha with 99 to 84 votes.