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JPC chief likely to seek opinion of panel members

By KALYAN BAROOAH

NEW DELHI, Nov 5 - The chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), Rajendra Agrawal is likely to seek opinion of the panel members on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 before the committee winds up.

According to sources, the move comes in the backdrop of strong opinion among a section of the JPC members to present the report to the Lok Sabha before expiry of its term in December. Sources said that the possibility of the chairman presenting an interim report is also being considered.

Meanwhile, minutes of the meeting of the last JPC has been circulated among the members. The three Central ministries � Home Affairs, External Affairs, and Law and Justice � have given their written submission to the chairman, which was also circulated among the members.

Sources said that the chairman has been holding consultations with individual members and he is of the opinion that it may not be possible to submit a report because the JPC has not been able to visit key stakeholder states like West Bengal and Tripura.

A view has now emerged that if the members strongly press for submission of a report, then an interim report may be submitted.

Meanwhile, a BJP insider told this newspaper that party national president Amit Shah is determined to go ahead with the Bill. The most likely scenario is that the Modi government may opt for the ordinance route to introduce the Bill, sources said.

At the last meeting of the JPC, members were divided, while one section wanted to have it deferred, another group wanted it to be presented. The problem for the government is that the Bill in its present form may be difficult to pass, partly because of the paucity of time and also sharp division among the political parties.

After the Winter Session, the Parliament will meet again in January, when the Vote on Account will be passed before the general election is announced. As it was introduced in the Lok Sabha, the Bill will lapse when the term of the current Lok Sabha expires next year.

A BJP member of the committee said the most likely scenario is that the government will withdraw the Bill citing inability of the JPC to present its report despite five extensions and take the ordinance route after the Budget Session scheduled early next year.

A member of the committee belonging to the Congress said that he is yet to receive any communication seeking his opinion but the party may opt for deferring the Bill to corner the Modi government. At the last meeting, Bhubaneswar Kalita suggested segregating the Northeast from the purview of the Bill.

Several parties like the Left Front, Janata Dal (United), Biju Janata Dal, TDP, among others, have already expressed their opposition to the Bill.

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JPC chief likely to seek opinion of panel members

NEW DELHI, Nov 5 - The chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), Rajendra Agrawal is likely to seek opinion of the panel members on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 before the committee winds up.

According to sources, the move comes in the backdrop of strong opinion among a section of the JPC members to present the report to the Lok Sabha before expiry of its term in December. Sources said that the possibility of the chairman presenting an interim report is also being considered.

Meanwhile, minutes of the meeting of the last JPC has been circulated among the members. The three Central ministries � Home Affairs, External Affairs, and Law and Justice � have given their written submission to the chairman, which was also circulated among the members.

Sources said that the chairman has been holding consultations with individual members and he is of the opinion that it may not be possible to submit a report because the JPC has not been able to visit key stakeholder states like West Bengal and Tripura.

A view has now emerged that if the members strongly press for submission of a report, then an interim report may be submitted.

Meanwhile, a BJP insider told this newspaper that party national president Amit Shah is determined to go ahead with the Bill. The most likely scenario is that the Modi government may opt for the ordinance route to introduce the Bill, sources said.

At the last meeting of the JPC, members were divided, while one section wanted to have it deferred, another group wanted it to be presented. The problem for the government is that the Bill in its present form may be difficult to pass, partly because of the paucity of time and also sharp division among the political parties.

After the Winter Session, the Parliament will meet again in January, when the Vote on Account will be passed before the general election is announced. As it was introduced in the Lok Sabha, the Bill will lapse when the term of the current Lok Sabha expires next year.

A BJP member of the committee said the most likely scenario is that the government will withdraw the Bill citing inability of the JPC to present its report despite five extensions and take the ordinance route after the Budget Session scheduled early next year.

A member of the committee belonging to the Congress said that he is yet to receive any communication seeking his opinion but the party may opt for deferring the Bill to corner the Modi government. At the last meeting, Bhubaneswar Kalita suggested segregating the Northeast from the purview of the Bill.

Several parties like the Left Front, Janata Dal (United), Biju Janata Dal, TDP, among others, have already expressed their opposition to the Bill.

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