‘Landmark Day for India’: PM Modi on Passing of Citizenship Bill

Catch all the live updates on the protests over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill here.

Reacting to the passing of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Parliament on Wednesday, 11 December, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted saying its a 'landmark day' for the country.

After a six-hour debate, 125 members of the Rajya Sabha voted in favour of passing the Bill.

In his final remarks on the debate, Home Minister Amit Shah had said that the Bill does not snatch anyone's Indian citizenship, and that Indian Muslims "have no need to fear or worry".

  • Rajya Sabha Speaker Venkaiah Naidu had allotted 6 hours for CAB debate in Rajya Sabha. There were 48 speakers participating in the discussion
  • Protests continue in several Northeast states like Assam and Tripura over CAB
  • The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha with 311 ‘Ayes’ and 80 ‘Noes’ on the intervening night of 9-10 December

Lok Sabha Passes Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019

On Monday, the Lok Sabha passed the bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan if they fled their native country due to religious persecution.

According to the proposed legislation, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till 31 December 2014, after facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.

Though the Opposition has slammed the bill, alleging it is discriminatory against Muslims and violates the Constitution, Home Minister Amit Shah has asserted that people belonging to any religion should not have any fear under the Modi government.

The proposed law will give relief to those minorities who have been living a painful life after facing persecution in neighbouring countries, he said.

How Numbers Are Stacked in Rajya Sabha

The Opposition ranks have been boosted by the decision of the six-member Telangana Rashtra Samithi, which has often backed the Modi government on its key legislative agenda, to oppose the bill.

Longtime BJP-ally Shiv Sena, now a partner in the Congress-NCP alliance, also indicated on Tuesday, 10 December, it may not support the bill now after backing it in Lok Sabha.

The Maharashtra party with a history of pursuing strident Hindutva agenda has three members in the Rajya Sabha.

BJP's allies AIADMK, JD(U) and Akali Dal have 11, six and three members respectively in the Upper House. Besides that regional parties like the BJD with seven MPs, and YSR Congress and the TDP with 2 each are backing the bill.

The BJP has 83 members in Rajya Sabha.

Seven independents and nominated members besides a number of regional parties with one member each will back the Bill, BJP floor managers said.

The Opposition camp includes Congress, TMC, BSP, Samajwadi Party, DMK, RJD, the Left, NCP and the TRS with 46, 13, four, nine, five, four, six, four and six members respectively, totalling 97.

The support of Shiv Sena, Aam Aadmi Party and some smaller parties may take it near 110.

Anti-CAB Protests Rock Northeast

Large parts of the northeast on Tuesday simmered with protests by students' unions and Left-democratic organisations against the CAB. The protests left normal life paralysed in Assam's Brahmaputra Valley during the shutdown that was led by the All Assam Students' Union and the North East Students' Organisation (NESO).

Huge processions were taken out in different areas of Guwahati, with protesters raising slogans against the legislation.

The All Assam Students Union on Tuesday said that it will move the Supreme Court against the Bill.

In Tripura, the bandh threw normal life out of gear in Dhalai, West Tripura and Khowai districts. Train services in the entire state came to a halt and vehicular movement was affected.

Educational institutions, banks, commercial establishments and markets were closed while public and private vehicles were off the roads in most places in Arunachal Pradesh in response to the strike called by the All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union (AAPSU).

Incidents of tyre burning and vandalisation of vehicles were reported in Meghalaya capital Shillong, as protesters lobbed Molotov cocktails at a police vehicle damaging it in Mawlai area.

Slew of Protests Against Bill in Delhi

Delhi witnessed protest demonstrations by political parties, students' bodies and civil society groups over the Bill on Tuesday.

The Northeast Students' Union staged a protest against the bill at Jantar Mantar.

The CPI(M)'s Delhi state committee members also held a protest at the same venue against the bill. Communist Party of India (Marxist) MPs had earlier held a protest near the Gandhi statue on the Parliament premises.

Members of the Left party were seen carrying banners, saying "CAB waapis lo" (withdraw the CAB) and "Dharm aadharit CAB nahi chalega" (won't accept a CAB based on religion).

Want To Ensure 'Non-Discriminatory Laws' by Govts: UN

The United Nations on Tuesday refused to comment on the passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha, saying that their only concern was to ensure that all governments implement non-discriminatory laws.

When asked about the UN's stand on the passage of the Bill, Farhan Haq, the deputy spokesperson for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, "As far as I am aware, this legislation will go through a legislative process. We do not have a comment while the domestic legislative process is being carried out."

"At the same time, our concerns are about being sure that all governments pursue non-discriminatory laws," Haq added, according to ANI.

Kapil Sibal, Derek O'Brien, Ramgopal Yadav Slated to Speak in Debate

Among the Opposition leaders who will speak during the Citizenship Amendment Bill debate in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday are Kapil Sibal from Congress, Derek O'Brien from Trinamool Congress and Ramgopal Yadav from Samajwadi Party.

BJP Holds Parliamentary Party Meet

Ahead of the Citizenship Amendment Bill’s introduction in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, BJP is holding a Parliamentary party meeting at Parliament library. PM Modi is present at the meeting.

Don't Spread Misinformation: Sonowal to Anti-CAB Protesters

With the CAB passed in Lok Sabha and set to be introduced in Rajya Sabha, Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked protesters against the Bill to not spread "misinformation".

Sonowal said no one should allow "divisive forces" to destabilise the state.

"In order to put Assam strongly on the world map, we all must work dedicatedly. Building a robust work culture in the state should be the prime objective of everyone and youths must not be misled to join agitations," he said.

CAB Attempt to 'Ethnically Cleanse' North East: Rahul Gandhi

Tweeting on Wednesday, ahead of the Bill’s introduction in Rajya Sabha, Rahul Gandhi called the CAB an attempt by the Modi-Shah government to “ethnically cleanse the North East” and a “criminal attack”. He also expressed his solidarity with the people.

'Citizenship Bill Will be Written in Golden Letters': PM Modi

Post the BJP parliamentary party meet, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prahlad Joshi said that PM Modi had called the Citizenship Amendment Bill a historic bill.

“The Citizenship Bill will be written in golden letters, will give permanent relief to people who fled religious persecution,” PM Modi reportedly said.

According to Joshi, the Citizenship Amendment Bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha at 12 pm on Wednesday. The minister asserted that the Bill will be passed in the House with comfortable majority.

Opposition Speaking Pak’s Language on Citizenship Bill: PM Modi at BJP Meet

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday accused the Opposition of speaking Pakistan's language on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Addressing BJP parliamentary party meeting, Modi likened the bill to the government's decision to nullify Article 370 and said it will provide permanent relief to minorities of neighbouring countries who arrived in India fleeing religious persecution.

Shiv Sena Could Change Stand on Bill in RS: Sanjay Raut

Shiv Sena leader Sanjay Raut hinted on Wednesday that the party – which had voted in favour of the Bill in Lok Sabha – could change its stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha.

“We have to clear our doubts on this bill. If we don't get satisfactory answers, then our stand could be different from what we took in Lok Sabha,” Raut said, speaking to the media.

“Votebank politics is not right, you are trying to create Hindu-Muslim divide in country yet again, leave it,” he said, adding that there was nothing in the Bill for Tamil Hindus of Sri Lanka.

Mayawati Says BSP Will Vote Against CAB in Rajya Sabha

BSP chief Mayawati said her party which has 4 MPs in Rajya Sabha will not support the Citizenship Bill.

Security Tightened in Assam, Aligarh

Ahead of the Rajya Sabha debate on the Citizenship Bill, security has been tightened in Assam and Aligarh.

Amit Shah Tables Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha

Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, 11 December, tabled the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha after it passed Lok Sabha with a comfortable majority on the intervening night of 9-10 December.

Amit Shah Defends Citizenship Bill in Rajya Sabha

While introducing the Bill, Home Minister Amit Shah in Rajya Sabha, “There has been an almost 20% decline each in population of religious minorities in both Pakistan and present day Bangladesh. Either they were killed or they fled to India for shelter.”

Opposition Members Move Resolution to Send CAB to Select Committee

Opposition members move resolution to send controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill to Rajya Sabha select committee.

BJP Promised CAB in Poll Manifesto, Have Approval of Voters: Shah

Home Minister Amit Shah said: “Want to tell those who are accusing us of vote-bank politics that BJP mentioned about this bill in its election manifesto and people of the nation have given us their support.”

Indian Muslims Don’t Need to Worry About CAB: Amit Shah in RS

While introducing the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Rajya Sabha, Home Minister Amit Shah said, “Muslims in India don’t need to fear about the Bill but Muslim refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh cannot be given citizenship in India.”

He said, “Muslims of India were, are and will remain Indian citizens.”

Naidu Allots 6 Hours to Discuss CAB

Rajya Sabha Speaker Venkaiah Naidu has allotted six hours to the House to discuss the CAB.

Citizenship Bill Hurts Soul of India: Congress' Anand Sharma

Participating in the discussion in the CAB, Congress leader Anand Sharma said, “The Bill that you have brought is an assault on the very foundation of the Indian Constitution, it is an assault on the Republic of India. It hurts the soul of India. It is against our Constitution and democracy. It fails the morality test.”

"It Hurts the Soul of India": Congress' Anand Sharma

During the Citizenship Bill debate in Rajya Sabha, Congress’ Anand Sharma said, The bill that you have brought is an assault on the very foundation of the Indian constitution, it is an assault on the Republic of India. It hurts the soul of India. It is against our constitution and democracy. It fails the morality test.”

Rajya Sabha TV Briefly Stops Live Telecast

Rajya Sabha briefly stopped telecasting proceedings during Citizenship Amendment Bill on direction of Chair.

CAB Protest: Students Clash with Police near Assam Secretariat

Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill continued to rock Assam as a large group of students fought a pitched battle with the police near the state secretariat in Guwahati on Wednesday, 11 December, police said.

Students in large numbers were seen proceeding towards the Secretariat from all directions. Another group has reached Ganeshguri area, around 500 metres from the centre of power.

They broke a barricade on GS Road following which the police resorted to lathi charge. Teargas shells were also lobbed at the students who also threw the shells back at the policemen.

Concerns of Indigenous Northeast People Addressed in CAB: Kiren Rijiju

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said, “First time in India's history an important bill has been brought in Parliament after discussion with voices of northeast.” He added, “Concerns of indigenous people of northeast addressed thoroughly in bill.”

TMC Will Start a People's Movement: Derek O'Brien

TMC MP in Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien, “If the CAB is passed in Rajya Sabha, there will be a people's movement led by TMC against the Bill before it is challenged in Supreme Court.”

Opposition Could Get Numbers Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: Azad

Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Ghulam Nabi Azad on Wednesday, 11 December, said the opposition could get the required numbers against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill as the parties that supported the BJP in the Lok Sabha might vote against the proposed legislation, considering the nationwide protests against it.

"Who knows, we may have the numbers. I think a better sense will prevail on most of the regional political parties and they will read through the reasons why this bill should not be passed. This bill is totally discriminatory and unconstitutional. It has been rejected by one and all from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. The northeastern states are burning and there are huge protests in other parts of the country,” Azad said.

"I do not think that ever before, the northeastern states have unitedly gone against a bill passed by Parliament," the senior Congress leader told reporters.

There Are Concerns But Will Support CAB: AIADMK in Rajya Sabha

S. R. Balasubramaniam, AIADMK leader in Rajya Sabha, raised concerns about not including Sri Lankan refugees in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill but said his party will support the Bill in Rajya Sabha.

Govt Trying to Fulfill Dream of Jinnah: SP's Javed Ali Khan

“Our Govt through this Citizenship Amendment Bill and NRC is trying to fulfill the dream of Jinnah. Remember, in 1949 Sardar Patel had said 'we are laying the foundation of a truly secular democracy in India,” SP’s Javed Ali Khan said.

We Support Bill: JD(U) MP Speaks for Bill

Participating in the debate, JD(U) MP Ram Chandra Prasad Singh said that unrelated issues have been brought into the discussion. Speaking in support of the Bill, Singh said that CAB is only for protection of religious minorities who fled from specified countries and is not affecting any rights of Indian citizens.

“We support this Bill. The Bill is very clear, it gives citizenship to persecuted minorities from three of our neigbouring countries, but here debate is being done on our Indian Muslim brothers,” Singh said.

Singh further said that false narratives are being created on the issue to spread panic.

TRS MP Keshava Rao Says Bill Challenges Idea of India

TRS MP Dr K Keshava Rao spoke against the Bill, saying that this Bill challenges the very idea of India and negates every ideal of justice. He called for the Bill to be withdrawn.

Bill a Blow to Secularism: DMK's T Siva

DMK MP T Siva said that the Bill, if passed, would deal a blow to secularism.

“If this Bill is passed, it will be a blow to our secularism. You (BJP) have a mandate to justify all citizens of the country and not segregate one section and make them feel victimised,” Siva said, opposing the Bill.

P Chidambaram Questions Citizenship Amendment Bill

Speaking in Rajya Sabha, P Chidambaram said that in discussing the issue, they were pushing the issue to the lap of the judges.

"What we are doing is pushing this issue to the lap of the judges. And unelected judges, lawyers will decide whether what we do is unconstitutional or not,” he said.

Chidambaram also questioned why and how the three countries Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh had been chosen and why Sri Lanka Hindus and Bhutanese Christians had been excluded.

"This government is ramming through this Bill in order to advance its Hindutva agenda. This is a sad day,” Chidambaram said.

He added that he was confident that the Bill would be struck down.

We Oppose the Bill: BSP's Satish Chandra Mishra

"BSP is against the Bill as the very Preamble of Constitution mentions secularism and this Bill violates that," BSP's Satish Chandra Mishra said in the Parliament.

He also spoke against the 31 December, 2014 deadline set in the Bill.

Persecution Doesn't Always Happen on Religious Grounds: RJD's Manoj Jha

Speaking against the Bill, RJD's Manoj Jha said that more than religious grounds, persecution takes place based on political beliefs.

He also said that the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would make India go the Israel way.

NCP Opposes Citizenship Bill

NCP’s Praful Patel said his party opposes the Bill and asked for it to be sent to a select committee.

Two-Nation Theory Will Be Fulfilled by Passing of This Bill: Kapil Sibal

Opposing the Bill, Congress MP Kapil Sibal said urged Home Minister Amit Shah to withdraw his comment that Congress partitioned the country along religious lines.

"The two-nation theory was propagated by Savarkar, not by us . It would be fulfilled today with the passing of this Bill," Sibal said.

Citizenship Bill: Muslims Don't Fear BJP, Says Kapil Sibal's Jibe at Amit Shah

Senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal lashed out at the BJP government in his speech at the Rajya Sabha, on Wednesday, 11 December, saying the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is “targeting a community without naming it.”

Home Minister Amit Shah, while introducing the Bill in the Upper House, had said, “Indian Muslims have nothing to fear but Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh cannot be given citizenship in India.” Taking a jibe at Shah, Sibal said, “No Muslim is scared of the BJP. They only fear the Constitution.”

Citizenship Bill Undemocratic, Unreasonable, Unpardonable: Vaiko

Rajya Sabha MP and MDMK Chief Vaiko, while debating the Bill, said, “If this obnoxious, abominable, undemocratic, unreasonable, unpardonable, unjustifiable, unconstitutional Bill is passed today in this Council of State, it will become a black chapter in the annals of this Upper House.”

Citizenship Bill: AAP Opposes the Bill, Says it's 'Against Ambedkar, Gandhi, Bhagat Singh'

Aam Aadmi Party’s Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Singh strongly opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, saying, “The Bill as it is is against the Constitution made by Baba Saheb Ambedkar. It is against the Preamble of the Constitution. It is against the India of the dreams of Mahatma Gandhi and Bhagat Singh.”

Naga People’s Front Extend Support to CAB

KG Kenye of Naga People’s Front said, “I support this Bill. People in Northeast have no religious bias and aren't communal... It's not about religion, minority or majority communities. It's about illegal migrants who've come into our region&threatening to run over our population.”

Citizenship Bill an Attempt 'to Amend a Flawless Constitution': Kamal Haasan

Makkal Needhi Maiam (MNM) chief Kamal Haasan slammed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill saying, “We have a duty to amend the Constitution if there was any error, but to attempt to amend a flawless Constitution is a betrayal. Centre's law and plan is akin to a crime of attempting surgery on a healthy person. Those who attempted and failed are trying again.”

Citizenship Bill Will be Dilution of Secularism in India: JD(S)

D Kupendra Reddy, JD(S) said, “The Citizenship Bill will be dilution of our secularism policy in this country. I strongly oppose this Bill. I recommend that the Bill be sent to a select committee of Parliament for scrutiny.”

NE is Burning And You Say Whole India is Happy?: Azad on CAB in RS

Senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad brought up the ongoing protests in various parts of the Northeast while debating the Citizenship Bill in Rajya Sabha. “The Northeast is burning and you say whole of India is happy?” Azad asked the government in the Upper House.

Citizenship Bill Has Been Completely Reviewed by Law Dept: RS Prasad

Defending the Citizenship Bill in Rajya Sabha, Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said, “The Bill has been thoroughly reviewed and passed by the legal department.”

President Signs Order Extending Inner Line Permit to Manipur

The inner line permit (ILP) regime was extended to Manipur on Wednesday, 11 December, with President Ram Nath Kovind signing the order in this effect.

The decision comes two days after Union Home Minister Amit Shah announced in the Lok Sabha that the ILP would be extended to Manipur to allay fears of the people of the northeastern state about the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

A notification in this regard was issued by the Home Ministry.

Partition on Religious Lines Necessitated CAB: Shah in RS

Making his final remarks on the debate over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, 11 December, Home Minister Amit Shah said the proposed legislation was necessitated because India was partitioned on religious lines during Independence.

He added, “Shiv Sena supported citizenship bill in Lok Sabha, what changed overnight that they are now opposing it?”

Do Not Scare Away Muslims: Shah Jibes Back at Kapil Sibal

Taking a jibe back at Congress leader Kapil Sibal, Amit Shah said, “It is good that Muslims are not scared of the BJP. You should also not scare them away.” Responding to Shah’s claim that Indian Muslims have nothing to worry about CAB, Sibal had said, “No Muslim fears the BJP.”

Citizenship Law Could Weaken India's Historic Secular Character: Bangladesh

Bangladesh's Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen on Wednesday, 11 December, said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill could weaken India's historic character as a secular nation and rejected the allegations that the minorities are facing religious persecution in his country.

"India is historically a tolerant country which believes in secularism (but) their historic position will be weakened if they deviate from that," Momen told reporters.

He said that Bangladesh and India are currently enjoying close friendly relations "that is termed as "golden chapter" of bilateral ties and "so, naturally our people (Bangladeshis) expect that India won't do anything that could create anxiety among them".

Majority in Rajya Sabha Vote Against Sending CAB to Select Panel

Rajya Sabha rejects motion to send Citizenship Amendment Bill to Select Committee of House; 124 votes against the motion, 92 in support.

Shiv Sena MPs Absent During Voting Rajya Sabha

Shiv Sena MPs are absent while voting on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is underway in Rajya Sabha.

Shiv Sena Boycotts Voting: Sanjay Raut

Sanjay Raut, Shiv Sena's Rajya Sabha MP, on being asked if they have boycotted the voting, “ Yes, Shiv Sena has boycotted the voting.”

Clear Where Majority and Where Morality is: TMC’s Derek O'Brian

While voting was underway in Rajya Sabha on CAB, TMC MP Derek O’Brien said, "It is apparent where the majority of this House is. It is also clear where the morality of the House is.”

Rajya Sabha Passes Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

Rajya Sabha approves The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with 125 votes in favour and 105 against it.

'Bill Will Alleviate Suffering of Many': PM Modi

Following the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Parliament, PM Modi tweeted saying it will “alleviate the suffering of many who faced persecution for years”.

Togadia Welcomes Passage of Citizenship Bill

Pravin Togadia, president of the Antar Rashtriya Hindu Parishad has welcomed the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament.

He had been demanding such a legislation for years, he said, reported PTI.

West Bengal BJP Celebrates Passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

The West Bengal BJP celebrated the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

Workers gathered in the party's state headquarters in Kolkata in large numbers and distributed sweets. They also burst firecrackers, reported PTI.

Cong Leaders Indicate Party May Move Court Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

Several senior Congress leaders indicated that the party may move court against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed by Parliament with Abhishek Singhvi saying that the legislation will be legally challenged in the near future as it is “highly suspect” in terms of constitutionality.

Soon after the bill was passed in Rajya Sabha, senior Congress leader and senior lawyer Kapil Sibal told PTI that the party should move court against it.

Ministry of I&B Issues Advisory to News Channels to Keep Away From 'Provocative' or 'Inflammatory' Content

North East Indigenous People's Forum Demands Inner Line Permit in Meghalaya Shillong

As the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by Parliament on Wednesday, the Meghalaya Chapter of the North East Indigenous People's Forum (NEIPF) demanded that the state government pass a resolution to immediately implement the Inner Line Permit (ILP) in the entire state, reported PTI.

The Bill, which seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, excludes areas in the Northeast protected by the Inner Line Permit and Sixth Schedule provisions from its ambit.

India's Strength Is Secular Democracy; Protecting Rights of Minority Communities: Congressman

Expressing concern over situation in Jammu and Kashmir and the Citizenship Amendment Bill that was cleared in the Indian parliament, a top Indian-American Democratic Congressman has said that India's strength is as a secular democracy and protecting the rights of minority communities is a key aspect of it.

"India's strength has been a secular democracy. And being a secular democracy means protecting the rights of the minorities. That was the vision of Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru," Ami Bera, the longest serving Indian-American Congressman, said.

BJP Trying to Breathe New Life Into Two-Nation Theory Through Cab: CPI (M)

CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury on Wednesday alleged that with the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament, the BJP was attempting to “breathe life” into the two-nation theory propagated by Savarkar and Jinnah.

The Bill, which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, was passed by the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

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