New Delhi: The government may not push for passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the coming budget session. The Bill proposes to grant citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from three Islamic countries of Pakistan, Afgha-nistan and Bangladesh. The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha in the winter session but protests in the north-eastern states have forced a go slow.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh held meetings with some of the chief ministers of the northeast to convince them that the Bill won’t benefit the Bangladeshi minorities much, but he got a negative feedback. His hopes that the misunderstandings on the Bill will vanish with proper explanation have been dashed. Since some of the NDA partners have also announced that they propose to oppose the Bill, the government decided to focus on the budget and other financial business instead of getting bogged down in a contentious issue.
In an apparent bid to assuage fears in the northeast over the Citizenship Bill, the Centre on Tuesday clarified that under the proposed law nobody will get Indian citizenship without the consent of the respective state government. “Without the state government’s recommendation, no one will be given Indian citizenship,” a Home Ministry spokesperson said. Each and every individual application for citizenship will have to be inquired into by the District Magistrate, who will give recommendations to the state government,” he added. Ministry sources also said the government was mulling giving incentives to such people seeking citizenship for settlingdown outside northeast.