BJP Paves Way For Non-Muslim Refugees to Vote in 2024 LS Elections
The residency period is being reduced so that refugees granted citizenship are in the voters’ list by 2020: Shah.
While debating the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, in Lok Sabha on Monday, 9 December, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said the Narendra Modi-led government has proposed to reduce the minimum residency period to grant citizenship to non-Muslims refugees from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, so that they can be a part of the voters’ list by 2020.
The next general elections will be held in 2024 where the Narendra Modi government will be fighting to come back to power for the third consecutive term.
“We are keeping a cut-off of 31 December 2014, but if we keep the minimum residency period of 11 years, then they will be granted citizenship only in 2025. So, we are reducing the time period to 6 years. That would mean by 2020, all applicants will become citizens and would be a part of India’s voting list.”Home Minister Amit Shah
According to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
Opposition party MPs have been arguing against the Bill calling it “divisive” and alleging political agenda behind the amendments.
Participating in the debate on the bill, Vinayak Raut Shiv Sena had said that the people who get Indian citizenship under the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill should not be granted voting rights for 25 years.
The home minister said under the proposed legislation, citizenship will be granted to refugees coming from the three countries after facing religious persecution there even without documents, including ration cards.
The bill also proposes to give immunity to such refugees facing legal cases after being found as illegal migrants.
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