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Citizenship (Amendment) Bill: Congress hints at moving Supreme Court

A TV grab of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha on December 10, 2019. Photo: LSTV/PTI

A TV grab of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in the Lok Sabha on December 10, 2019. Photo: LSTV/PTI  

Bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha; party seems to be preparing to move top court on the issue

A day after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) was passed in the Lok Sabha, the Congress on December 10 targetted the government, even as it seems to be preparing to move the top court on the issue, as the Opposition may not have the numbers to stall the bill’s passage in the Rajya Sabha on December 11.

Former party chief Rahul Gandhi, said in a tweet, “The #CAB is an attack on the Indian constitution. Anyone who supports it is attacking and attempting to destroy the foundation of our nation.”

Senior leader and former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram said the Supreme Court would now be the battleground of the contentious bill, as “elected representatives had abdicated their responsibility”. “CAB is unconstitutional. Parliament passes a Bill that is patently unconstitutional and the battleground shifts to the Supreme Court,” he said in a tweet. “Elected Parliamentarians are abdicating their responsibilities in favour of lawyers and judges.”

In another tweet, he said, “That is the price we pay for giving a party a brute majority that it uses to trample over the wishes of the States and the People”.

Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said in a tweet, “Last night at midnight, India’s tryst with bigotry and narrow minded exclusion was confirmed as the CAB was passed in the Lok Sabha. Our forefathers gave their lifeblood for our freedom. In that freedom, is enshrined the right to equality, and the right to freedom of religion.” “Our constitution, our citizenship, our dreams of a strong and unified India belong to ALL of us,” she added.

Congress chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala dragged right-wing ideologue V.D. Savarkar into the CAB debate. “It's an attack on soul of India. 72 years earlier, India was partitioned by the British, Savarkar’s and Jinnah's sinister thought and approach. Descendants of the philosophy seek to partition our foundational values once again,” he said in a tweet.

Watch | All about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019
 

Two-nation theory

At a press conference, Congress MP Manish Tewari countered Home Minister Amit Shah’s assertion that the Congress was ‘responsible’ for the two-nation theory that caused Partition. Hindu Mahasabha leaders like Lala Lajpat Rai and Veer Savarkar and Muslim League leaders such as Jinnah and Iqbal only propounded the theory, he said and referred to their writings between 1924 and 1940. “I am not sitting on judgement but merely stating facts since the Home Minister made an objectionable statement,” he stated.

Asked about the Shiv Sena backing the bill in the Lok Sabha, he said: “They [the Sena] never said they will give up their ideology. But if they change their stand in the Rajya Sabha against something patently illegal, they are welcome”.

The Lok Sabha, late on Monday night, passed the bill, with 311 members backing it, while only 80 voting against it.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 11:50:24 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/congress-hits-out-at-govt-on-citizenship-amendment-bill/article30270018.ece

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