Stage set for ‘battle of numbers’ on CAB in Rajya Sabha

Stage set for ‘battle of numbers’ on CAB in Rajya Sabha

Agency News

New Delhi, Dec 10 : The heat and dust of the Citizenship Bill and the fury over it from its opponents would be felt in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday when the government makes a move to get the nod of the Upper House.

With Shiv Sena keeping everyone guessing, the BJP's floor managers have started reaching out to parties such as AIADMK which has 11 members, the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD which has seven members, YSRCP with two members and TDP with two members. In 238-member Rajya Sabha, NDA would require to touch or cross 120 mark. Sena MP in Lok Sabha Arvind Sawant said his party always decides on issues based on 'national interests'. "No body has monopoly over nationalism....," he said.

During Lok Sabha proceedings on Monday, Sena MP Vinayak Raut said his party is not against the 'persecuted' religious communities from Pakistan and Bangladesh but he found no logic in giving the same criterion to those from Afghanistan. Sources said the ruling BJP-led dispensation is confident that the controversial and highly volatile draft legislation will get through.

Some of the regional parties including the YSRCP had backed the Bill in the Lok Sabha on Monday mid-night after a day-long debate. It is proposed in the Bill to make the migrants - Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, Buddhists and Jains who face persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh - eligible for Indian citizenship but with the condition that they have entered into India up to the cut-off date of December 31, 2014.

The Bill also made provisions for migrants of six communities who have applied for Indian citizenship under section 5 of the Citizenship Act, 1955 but were unable to produce proof of their Indian origin.

In his reply and while piloting the Bill in Lok Sabha, Mr Shah has sought to allay fears of people in the North-Eastern States, saying all the states in the region were well protected by the Bengal East Frontier Regulation, 1873 and provisions of Inner Line Permit (ILP). BJP sources say in the 238-member Rajya Sabha, NDA's current strength is 105 with 83 members of the BJP, 11 nominated, three from Akali Dal, six of Janata Dal (U) and one each from LJP and RPI(A). Some other smaller parties in northeast could also back it. However, NDA constituent JD(U) stood apparently divided with a section not agreeing to toe the government line. (UNI)