Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to face Rajya Sabha test today

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New Delhi: The ruling BJP will bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday after its midnight passage in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The weekly meeting of the BJP’s parliamentary party to has been scheduled for Wednesday.

While the Bill sailed through the Lok Sabha on Monday with 311-80 votes, the BJP-led ruling alliance will need outside support in the Upper House to get the legislation passed.

The government’s confidence in the Rajya Sabha stems from the sheer strength of numbers where it’s tally could reach 127 against a 113 of the opposition. The 127 mark will also include a vote in favour of the bill by the Janata Dal-United (6), AIADMK(11), BJD (7), YSRCP (2), TDP (2), seven Independent and nominated members, apart from 83 of the BJP. Two of the members of the ruling government might be absent due to health reason.

The current strength of the House is 240 and the government will need more than half the votes to win this one that means 121.

The opposition is hoping that players like the Samajwadi Party (9), the Bahujan Samajwadi Party (4) TRS (6) who have far voted against the bill in the Lower House will be present in full strength unlike in the past.

The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha with 311 members favouring it and 80 voting against it.

The most critical part of the proposed law pertains to inserting a provision in Section 2 of the Citizenship Act, 1952 to change the definition of “illegal immigrant” to include persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The bill excludes areas in the North Eastern parts covered by the Inner Line Permit regime and the areas under the Sixth Schedule.

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