Parliament proceedings: Citizenship Bill yet to be listed

Rajya Sabha chairman and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu conducts Rajya Sabha proceedings, in New Delhi. File

Rajya Sabha chairman and Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu conducts Rajya Sabha proceedings, in New Delhi. File   | Photo Credit: PTI


Give us enough time to study it, Opposition MPs tell Rajya Sabha Chairman

The government has so far not listed the much anticipated and controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).

On Thursday, at the business advisory meeting where the government lays down the legislative business for days ahead, the Opposition s asked the government to ensure that the bill is not sprung as a surprise.

According to rules and procedures of business, members of Parliament must be given two days’ notice to read and analyse a legislation. However, the Chairman, using his discretion, can allow less time.

On August 5, when Home Minister Amit Shah introduced the Jammu and Kashmir re-organisation bill and a legislation to downgrade Article 370, the members were taken by surprise. They got copies of the bill moments after Mr. Shah moved the legislation in the Rajya Sabha.

At Thursday’s meeting, according to sources, the Opposition parties appealed to the Rajya Sabha Chairman Venkaiah Naidu that they should not be given similar treatment as in the Kashmir legislations. “We told Mr. Naidu to ensure that we are given adequate time to study the bill since it has overwhelming implications,” said an Opposition leader.

Numbers in RS

In the 16th Lok Sabha, the CAB 2018 was cleared in the lower house. It was sent to the select committee, where nine out of the thirty members submitted a dissent note. The government, however, failed to move it in the Upper House fearing it’s defeat, since the numbers were stacked against them at that point. The Home Ministry has to move a new bill now, which has to be cleared by the Cabinet before being tabled in Parliament.

“We have enough numbers now in the Rajya Sabha to ensure smooth passage of CAB,” a senior BJP Minister said. The BJP has indicated that the bill will be presented and cleared before the close of winter session on Dec. 13.

The Congress which has 46 members in the Rajya Sabha, meanwhile, is waiting for the draft of the new bill for formulating its final position on the issue. The Congress had sent out a team of six leaders on a five-day tour of North Eastern States to discuss national register for citizens and CAB with its cadres. “Except for three district Congress committees in Assam, every State is opposed to CAB and we shall oppose it tooth and nail,” one of the members of the committee said.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 5:38:39 PM |

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