New Delhi: Amid opposition from several allies of BJP to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday said it will help those persecuted and compelled to seek refuge in India to secure Indian citizenship.

Addressing a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament ahead of the Budget Session, he said these people cannot be blamed since they were victims of circumstances. “Mindful of the prevalence of injustice and deprivation in the society, my government has been working towards reforming the legal system so as to ensure social and economic justice.

“The Citizenship Amendment Bill will help in the securing of Indian citizenship by those victims who were persecuted and were compelled to seek refuge in India. These people cannot be blamed since they were victims of circumstances,” he said. The entire northeast, including the allies of BJP, are bitterly opposed to the Citizenship Bill that seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslim minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Bill has been passed in the Lok Sabha and the government is expected to push it during the Budget session in the Rajya Sabha where it is short of numbers. BJP ally JD-U is also opposed to the measure.