New Delhi: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Monday introduced contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 in Lok Sabha and said that it is not even .001 per cent against minorities in the country.
"This Bill is not even .001 per cent against minorities in the country," Shah said in the House, amid much uproar by the opposition.
Shah said that Muslims from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh won't get the benefit of this amendment as they have not faced religious persecution.
"If any Muslim from these three (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh) nations applies for citizenship according to our law, then we will consider it, but the person won't get the benefit of this amendment as the person has not faced religious persecution," said Shah in the Lower House.
"In Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians, Parsis and Jains have been discriminated against. So, this bill will give these persecuted people citizenship. Also, the allegation that this Bill will take away the rights of Muslims is wrong," he said.
"Why do we need this Bill today? After independence, if the Congress had not done the partition on the basis of religion, then today we would have not needed this Bill," he said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
Through this bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, to put an end to them being treated as illegal immigrants in the country.
It is important to note that the Bill was passed by the Lower House of the Parliament earlier this year but lapsed with the term of the previous Lok Sabha during the first term of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi government in the Centre.