Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Thursday said that his state will not implement Citizenship Amendment Bill. Singh also termed the Modi government’s contentious bill as a direct assault on India’s secular character. Earlier today, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had also termed the Citizenship Amendment Bill as ‘unconstitutional’. “Kerala will not accept Citizenship Amendment Bill. Bill is unconstitutional. Centre is trying to divide India on religious lines. This is a move to sabotage equality and secularism,” Pinarayi Vijayan said.
Rajya Sabha on Wednesday approved the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, completing the legislative procedure for giving Indian citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. Replying to a six-and-a-half-hour debate on the bill, Home Minister Amit Shah said the legislation seeks to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities in the three countries and not take away citizenship of anyone.
He rejected the Opposition charge that the bill was against Muslims and said they have nothing to fear. The Bill was passed with 125 votes in favour and 105 against it. Besides BJP, its allies such as JD-U and SAD, the legislation was supported by AIADMK, BJD, TDP and YSR-Congress.