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Citizenship, triple talaq Bills lapse

Time for cheer:Celebrations in Guwahati after the Citizenship Bill lapsed.PTI  

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, that had set off a series of violent protests across the northeastern States, lapsed on Wednesday as the government failed to push it through Rajya Sabha despite a last- ditch effort on Tuesday.

Along with the Citizenship Bill, the triple talaq Bill that criminalises instant divorce in a Muslim marriage has also lapsed.

There have been widespread protests against the Citizenship Bill that proposed to grant citizenship to six religious minorities — Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians and Buddhists — from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who came to India before December 31, 2014. The Bill was seen as violating the terms of the 1985 Assam Accord that had set March 24, 1971 as the cut-off for granting citizenship.

Black flag protest

On Sunday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi faced black flags and nude protests during his trip to Guwahati. Mr. Modi has consistently reiterated the BJP’s commitment towards the Bill. At a rally in Jammu recently, Mr. Modi said it was essential to “save children of Ma Bharati” under attack in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh. He reiterated the concept of Akhand Bharat, a core principle of the RSS and its affiliated organisations.

In a bid to have a smooth Budget session, the government had, at the very commencement, told the Opposition that controversial legislations including the Citizenship Bill and the triple talaq Bill, will not be moved.

Despite the assurance, the Citizenship Bill was listed for Tuesday, the penultimate day of the session. The government claimed that three hours were allotted for debate on the legislation at a meeting in August 2016. But the contentious Bill could not be taken up because of disruptions.