Trinamool to oppose Citizenship Bill in Parliament

TMC at present has 22 members in Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha. Photo/AFP

Trinamool Congress (TMC) on Tuesday provided a boost to the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Bill agitators in the Northeast by promising that the party would oppose it both inside the Parliament and outside.

Senior TMC leader and Lok Sabha MP, Saugata Roy gave the assurance to a delegation of North East Students' Organisation (NESO), during a meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday. 

"The Trinamool Congress leader assured us that it had opposed the Bill earlier and will continue to do so both inside the Parliament and outside. This is a significant development as we are seeking help and support of some NDA partners as well as the opposition parties. The TMC leader was convinced with the documents we produced to show how the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which BJP is set to introduce again in the Parliament is unconstitutional, illegal and against the ethos of Assam Accord of 1985," All Assam Students' Union, one of the major constituents of NESO said in a statement.

The Bill, which has been listed for the ongoing winter session of the Parliament, seeks to allow  the "persecuted minorities" from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan like Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Sikhs, who had migrated till December 31, 2014 to apply for Indian citizenship through naturalisation, after a stay of six years. Many organisations representing the indigenous communities in the Northeast are opposed to the Bill as they fear that it would reduce the ethnic communities into minorities by giving citizenship to a large number of "illegal migrants."

They want that "illegal migrants" be detected with March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date irrespective or religion, as promised in the Assam Accord.

TMC at present has 22 members in Lok Sabha and 13 in Rajya Sabha. 

The NESO delegation also met leaders of the Samajwadi party in New Delhi seeking their support to oppose the bill in the Parliament. The organisations have been leading an agitation against the bill.

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