NEW DELHI: The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after a six-hour-long debate which saw a fiery speech by Union Home Minister Amit Shah defending the controversial Bill.
Among a total of 391 members present in the Lower House, 311 voted in favour of the Bill while 80 voted against it.
The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, excluding Muslims, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship. The Bill relaxes the requirement of residence in India from 11 years to six years for these migrants
"Delighted that the Lok Sabha has passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 after a rich and extensive debate. I thank the various MPs and parties that supported the Bill. This Bill is in line with India's centuries-old ethos of assimilation and belief in humanitarian values," tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
While defending the Bill in the Lok Sabha, Shah said that the Citizenship Bill does not affect Indian Muslims. He also said that no need to prepare background, India will have National Register of Citizens.