An organisation of eminent citizens of Assam Wednesday urged the Rajya Sabha chairman Venkaiah Naidu not to allow placing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Upper House to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955.
The Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on Tuesday, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. It has to be passed in the Rajya Sabha to become an Act. "We appeal to you as the constitutional guide of the rules and conventions of the Rajya Sabha that the ruling party should be stopped from placing the bill for amending the Citizenship Act, 1955," Chairman Dr Hiren Gohain and Convenor Manjit Mahanta of the Forum Against Citizenship Act Amendment Bill said in a letter to the RS chairman.
The Forum is a platform comprising eminent litterateurs, academicians and journalists. Later addressing a press conference, Gohain, an eminent litterateur, said there is no other way left, but to carry forward a prolonged battle against the government's move. The Forum will also the Supreme Court if the Bill becomes an Act, Gohain said.
Another organisation, the Prabajan Virodhi Manch - Forum Against Infiltration, Wednesday claimed that it would be difficult for the Bill, after it becomes an Act, to stand judicial scrutiny. "The bill has created the ground for seeking revision of the cut off date for grant of citizenship to migrants from Bangladesh from 25th March 1971 at present in respect of Assam to 19th July 1948 as prevalent in other states of India," the Manch said in a statement. This nullifies provisions of the Assam Accord, it claimed.