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Citizenship Bill unconstitutional, NRC waste of money: Ilyas

Press Trust of India  |  Aurangabad 

All India Muslim Personal Law Board member SQR Ilyas on Monday said Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was "unconstitutional" and plans to have NRC nationwide a waste of taxpayers' money.

Speaking at a press conference here, Ilyas, also leader of the Welfare Party of India, said these twin moves of the Union government were to hide failures on key issues that matter to people of the country.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there.

The bill to amend the six-decade-old Citizenship Act was introduced in Parliament on Monday, and later in the day it will be taken up for discussion and passage, according to the Lok Sabha's List of Business.

"The Citizenship Amendment Bill divides communities in the country and is unconstitutional. They could have thought of Muslims, who are facing persecution in Myanmar, in this bill. The BJP government at the Centre is playing vote-bank to hide failure to tackle key problems in the country," he said.

On statements by BJP leaders that they want to conduct the National Register of Citizens exercise all over India, Ilyas said, "The government spent Rs 1,600 crore on the NRC exercise in Assam. It would be much higher nationwide. It is a waste of taxpayers' money."

On Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict, Ilyas said it was based "more on faith than facts".

The Supreme Court, in a unanimous verdict on November 9, cleared the way for the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site at Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot a 5-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.

"It was not a fight for five acres of land but for the truth. Ramcharitmanas (Tulsidas' revered epic poem), written 60 years after the erection of Babri Masjid, does not say anything about the birthplace of Lord Ram. We will file a review petition with all such points," he said.

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

First Published: Mon, December 09 2019. 18:00 IST