Lok Sabha passes Citizenship bill


The Lok Sabha today (Jan 8) passed the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, after the bill was tabled in Lok Sabha by Home Minister Rajnath Singh earlier in the afternoon.

The bill will now be tabled in Rajya Sabha, in all probability tomorrow (Jan 9), where it is likely to be defeated considering Opposition majority although the Government may take the ordinance route to get the bill passed in both houses.


Earlier in the day, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, during his address in Lok Sabha, tried to reassure people of Assam saying that the whole of India and not just Assam will shoulder the burden of people who would be granted Indian citizenship after the bill becomes an act and that the legislation applies to the whole country and not just Assam.

“I want to reassure the House as well as people of India that the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, will apply not only to the State of Assam but to the entire country and that the burden (of Hindu Bangladeshi nationals) will be borne by the entire country and not just by Assam,” Rajnath Singh told Lok Sabha while tabling the bill.

He further reiterated that the Government is committed to implementing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord and that the Citizenship bill does not dilute the accord in any way.

The bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to people belonging to religious minority communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan facing persecution in those nations by amending the Citizenship Act 1955. If amended, six minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of the 12 fixed earlier will be entitled to Indian citizenship even if they do not possess proper documents.