Editorial

Nod for CAB

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 12/8/2019 12:23:54 PM IST

 From all indications, the BJP is likely to have its controversial Citizens(Amendment) Bill steamrolled through parliament when the voting takes place. In the Lok Sabha, the BJP alone has an overwhelming majority of 303 MPs out of 543 members. In the Rajya Sabha, the BJP has 81 seats and is the single largest party. The BJP-led NDA has 122 members in the Rajya Sabha. Both houses of parliament reflect the size and strength of the BJP and the NDA and therefore, the CAB’s fate looks set to be legislated. Oposition leaders, especially those in the Rajya Sabha have accepted that they were unlikely to win the vote as most of the regional parties are either likely to support the Bill or abstain from voting. The opposition parties such as Congress, NCP, AITMC have decided that they would participate in the discussion, but might stage a walkout at the time of voting. The battle in the Lok Sabha is already a foregone conclusion since the BJP has an outright majority. While BJP -led NDA lacks the numbers to reach the halfway mark in the Rajya Sabha, it is confident of keeping its flock together and also hopeful of some of the regional parties supporting the Bill. According to BJP sources, 122 members in the Rajya Sabha are already supporting the CAB and the party is expecting more parties to join them. The Shiv Sena’s support for the CAB could queer the pitch for its new allies in Maharashtra –NCP and Congress- as they seek to strike a delicate balance between their secular credentials and the compulsion of not being seen or projected as supporters of Muslim infiltrators. The current strength of the Upper House is 238. In its previous term, the government could not push the Bill through in the Rajya Sabha due to lack of numbers. To cross the halfway mark of 123, the BJP is confident that it will sail through with support from other regional parties. The BJP has left nothing to chance in wooing all regional parties who have opposed the CAB such as BJD, TRS, YSR Congress Party and TDP. It has in particular, assuaged the apprehensions of regional allies of the north east over CAB despite strong public protests in most of the states. Even if the CAB is passed by both houses of parliament, it is likely that it would be challenged in the Supreme Court. Earlier in February, after the Lok Sabha passed the Bill, a PIL was filed. A Supreme Court Bench headed by then CJI Ranjan Gogoi had kept the hearing to a PIL filed against the CAB pending. The apex court will take up the case only after CAB is passed by parliament. The PIL filed by “Nagarikatwa Aain Songsudhan Birodhi Mancha” (Forum Against Citizenship Act Amendment Bill)also sought to declare the Passport (Entry into India) Amendment Rules, 2015 and the Foreigners (Amendment) Order as “discriminatory, arbitrary and illegal”. The CAB is contrary to the secular principle of the Indian constitution which does not discriminate against any religion. Further, if passed the CAB will have a direct and inevitable effect on the Assam Accord of 1985 by diluting the clause on citizenship. As per the Assam Accord, any Bangladeshi immigrant coming to Assam after March 24,1971 is “ an illegal immigrant.” So, the CAB if challenged in court would continue to remain controversial and what happens next remains to be seen.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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