Union Home Minister Amit Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah
Photo by PTI

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which got a nod from the Lok Sabha on Monday, will be introduced in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.

It will be tabled in the Upper House at 2 pm by Home Minister Amit Shah.

The Bill, which seeks to give citizenship to refugees from Hindu, Christian, Sikh, Buddhist and Zorastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh was passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

After heated discussions spanning seven hours, the Bill was passed with a majority of 311 votes against 80 in the Lower House where 391 members were present and voted.

In the Rajya Sabha, the Centre requires the support of at least 123 MPs in the 245-member Upper House.

Despite a boost in opposition numbers in Rajya Sabha against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the BJP is confident that the proposed legislation will be passed by the House with a comfortable majority on Wednesday when it is scheduled to be taken up for discussion.

Sources in the BJP-led NDA said they were sure of getting near 124-130 votes in the Upper House which has an effective strength of 240 members.

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 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 Rajya Sabha.

BJP's allies AIADMK, JD(U) and Akali Dal has 11, six and three members respectively in the Upper House, besides 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.

Some members, like the ailing Amar Singh, may not attend the House for health or other personal reasons.

(With Input from Agencies)

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