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Fate of Citizenship Bill in RS still uncertain

By KALYAN BAROOAH

NEW DELHI, Feb 12 - In a last ditch attempt to salvage the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the government offered to delink North-East from the Bill but the Opposition parties rejected the proposal.

The Bill could not be placed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, as the upper house remained paralysed for the second consecutive day.

The Bill, which was listed for discussion and passage and was to be moved by Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, however did not make any progress. Repeated interruptions by Samajwadi Party (SP) led to several adjournments before the deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House till tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, sources said that the government had informally contacted the Opposition Congress Party and asked whether the Opposition will allow the CAB to be passed, if the North-East was taken out of the purview of the Bill. The proposal was that the Union Home Minister may move an amendment while placing the Bill. It was however rejected, as it was felt that it would still keep North-East open to illegal infiltration from neighbouring Bangladesh, said sources.

However, there was confusion over the fate of the Bill, as Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu in the morning meeting with the Opposition merely pressed for passage of the President Address Motion and the General Budget. The Opposition then requested the ruling party to arrange for an early reply to the Motion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, the House could not function, as agitated SP MPs rushed to the well of the House over an incident in Lucknow. Akhilesh Yadav, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief, tweeted that he was �detained� at the Lucknow airport after he was stopped from boarding a special flight to Prayagraj city. He was scheduled to attend a function of the Allahabad University Students� Union on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Opposition tried to broker a compromise between the government and the SP by allowing both the President�s address and Budget to be passed. However, it fell through and the stalemate is likely to continue on Wednesday also.

Congress MP Bhubaneswar Kalita observed that the sudden developments have led to the prospect of the House being extended by the government.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Vijay Goel told newsmen that the contentious CAB is a top priority for the government and they will try to pass it in the current session itself.

The Bill is likely to be listed for business on Wednesday, which is the last day of the Budget Session.

Meanwhile, as the day progressed, anxious AGP delegation led by president, Atul Bora, former chief minister, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, Keshab Mahanta, Dr Kamala Kalita among others waited in the Central Hall of the Parliament following the proceedings in the House and talking to leaders of other political parties.

A delegation of the Congress including State opposition leader, Debabrata Saikia and Rakibul Hussain, besides Kirip Chaliha were also present in the Central Hall watching the developments.

Meanwhile, chief ministers of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma, Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu, Manipur N Biren Singh were in the capital, as well, keeping a tab on the developments.

Interestingly, the BJP MPs were also clueless about the developments and were seen enquiring about the government�s possible moves.

Meanwhile, a delegation of All Assam Students� Union (AASU) led by adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya called on Meghalaya Chief Minister and requested him to take up the issue with NDA Government.

The AASU delegation also called on Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral and sought his Party�s support. The Akali Dal assured that they will oppose the Bill in the House, said the AASU leaders.

Bhattacharya told newsmen that if the Bill is passed in the Parliament they will exercise their option of moving Court against the Bill.

Meanwhile, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Chandra Babu Naidu, who conveyed that he has already passed instructions to his MPs to oppose the Bill.

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Fate of Citizenship Bill in RS still uncertain

NEW DELHI, Feb 12 - In a last ditch attempt to salvage the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the government offered to delink North-East from the Bill but the Opposition parties rejected the proposal.

The Bill could not be placed in the Rajya Sabha on Tuesday, as the upper house remained paralysed for the second consecutive day.

The Bill, which was listed for discussion and passage and was to be moved by Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, however did not make any progress. Repeated interruptions by Samajwadi Party (SP) led to several adjournments before the deputy Chairman Harivansh adjourned the House till tomorrow morning.

Meanwhile, sources said that the government had informally contacted the Opposition Congress Party and asked whether the Opposition will allow the CAB to be passed, if the North-East was taken out of the purview of the Bill. The proposal was that the Union Home Minister may move an amendment while placing the Bill. It was however rejected, as it was felt that it would still keep North-East open to illegal infiltration from neighbouring Bangladesh, said sources.

However, there was confusion over the fate of the Bill, as Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu in the morning meeting with the Opposition merely pressed for passage of the President Address Motion and the General Budget. The Opposition then requested the ruling party to arrange for an early reply to the Motion by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

However, the House could not function, as agitated SP MPs rushed to the well of the House over an incident in Lucknow. Akhilesh Yadav, former Uttar Pradesh chief minister and Samajwadi Party chief, tweeted that he was �detained� at the Lucknow airport after he was stopped from boarding a special flight to Prayagraj city. He was scheduled to attend a function of the Allahabad University Students� Union on Tuesday afternoon.

Meanwhile, the Opposition tried to broker a compromise between the government and the SP by allowing both the President�s address and Budget to be passed. However, it fell through and the stalemate is likely to continue on Wednesday also.

Congress MP Bhubaneswar Kalita observed that the sudden developments have led to the prospect of the House being extended by the government.

Meanwhile, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs, Vijay Goel told newsmen that the contentious CAB is a top priority for the government and they will try to pass it in the current session itself.

The Bill is likely to be listed for business on Wednesday, which is the last day of the Budget Session.

Meanwhile, as the day progressed, anxious AGP delegation led by president, Atul Bora, former chief minister, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, Keshab Mahanta, Dr Kamala Kalita among others waited in the Central Hall of the Parliament following the proceedings in the House and talking to leaders of other political parties.

A delegation of the Congress including State opposition leader, Debabrata Saikia and Rakibul Hussain, besides Kirip Chaliha were also present in the Central Hall watching the developments.

Meanwhile, chief ministers of Meghalaya Conrad Sangma, Arunachal Pradesh Pema Khandu, Manipur N Biren Singh were in the capital, as well, keeping a tab on the developments.

Interestingly, the BJP MPs were also clueless about the developments and were seen enquiring about the government�s possible moves.

Meanwhile, a delegation of All Assam Students� Union (AASU) led by adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya called on Meghalaya Chief Minister and requested him to take up the issue with NDA Government.

The AASU delegation also called on Akali Dal leader Naresh Gujral and sought his Party�s support. The Akali Dal assured that they will oppose the Bill in the House, said the AASU leaders.

Bhattacharya told newsmen that if the Bill is passed in the Parliament they will exercise their option of moving Court against the Bill.

Meanwhile, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) leader Akhil Gogoi met Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister, N Chandra Babu Naidu, who conveyed that he has already passed instructions to his MPs to oppose the Bill.