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Amid protests, Lok Sabha passes bill to grant citizenship to certain minorities of Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan

ANI  |  New Delhi 

Rajnath Singh, who piloted the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 in the of Parliament, sought to dispel any misgivings regarding the proposed legislation, saying its ambit will not be confined to Assam, where various political parties are strongly opposing it.

With the NDA pushing the proposed legislation, its ally (AGP) quit the coalition yesterday to protest the move.

On Tuesday, a shutdown was observed in and other parts of North East to protest the bill which seeks to amend an Act of 1955.

In the Lok Sabha, the said the burden of these persecuted migrants will not be shared by alone but by the entire country.

"The of is committed to give all help to the state and people of Assam," Singh said while replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha.

The proposed legislation will apply to all states and union territories of the country and the beneficiaries of the can reside in any state of the country, he said.

Singh said the proposed legislation will provide relief to persecuted migrants who have come through western borders of the country to States like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, and other states.

The Bill, which seeks to amend an Act of 1955, will benefit six identified minority communities namely Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from Afghanistan, and who came to before 31 December 2014.

Under the proposed amendments, the minimum residency period for citizenship is being reduced from the existing 12 years under the to 7 years. However, citizenship will be given to them only after due scrutiny and recommendation of district authorities and the state

"I want to clarify that the Citizenship Amendment Bill is not for alone or for the betterment of migrants coming from a particular country. This Bill is also for migrants who have come from the Western borders and have settled down in Rajasthan, Punjab, Delhi, and Rajasthan," Singh said.

The (MHA) had notified on 5 January a consisting of eminent and knowledgeable persons from Assamese society with a very wide mandate to suggest such safeguards for the protection of the Assamese identity, including reservation in the and in jobs. The Committee will submit its report within six months.

With regards to the Register of Citizens (NRC), Singh said no discrimination will be made. All the necessary steps will be taken to deal with illegal migrants," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 20:45 IST