The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in the Lok Sabha on Monday night after a daylong debate and heated exchanges between Amit Shah and Opposition MPs. Now the Bill awaits to clear the Rajya Sabha test.
- Lok Sabha cleared CAB yesterday after a 12-hour long debate
- In Lok Sabha, 311 MPs voted in favour of the bill and 80 against it
- NDA needs 121 votes in the Rajya Sabha to clear the Citizenship Bill
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed the Lok Sabha after a prolonged debate throughout Monday and now Amit Shah is expected to present the contentious Bill in Rajya Sabha on Wednesday. The Bill had a smooth sail in Lok Sabha and it looks like the Upper House too won’t pose a big hurdle.
With the coming together of JDU, Shiv Sena, BJD and some parties from the Northeast in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the government had no problem in clearing the Lok Sabha test on Monday.
In Lok Sabha, 311 votes were cast in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill and 80 votes were cast against it. The path in Rajya Sabha looks easy now.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill proposes granting Indian citizenship to the persecuted minorities such as Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis fleeing Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Bill doesn’t mention Muslim refugees.
Earlier, due to opposition from the same parties had forced the central government to withdraw from discussing the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Rajya Sabha. Many opposition parties, including the Congress, have strongly opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill. But the Modi government has turned the arithmetic in Rajya Sabha in its favour with the support of JDU and BJD.
Moreover, in the last two years, the strength of BJP and NDA has improved in Rajya Sabha. There are 245 total members in Rajya Sabha and five seats are vacant due to which the total number of members is 240 at present. This means that even if all the members of the House vote, 121 votes will be the required majority to pass the Citizenship Bill.
Modi Govt in Rajya Sabha
Amit Shah needs 121 votes in the Rajya Sabha to clear the Citizenship Bill and NDA seems to have the exact number of MPs in its support. BJP has 83 members, 7 of BJD, 11 of AIADMK, 3 of Akali Dal, 3 of Shiv Sena, 6 of JDU, 2 of YSR Congress, 1 of LJP, 1 of RPI and 4 nominated Rajya Sabha members. In total, all those supporting the Bill are 121.
Opposition has 100
The Opposition does not appear to be in a very strong position against the Citizenship Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The Rajya Sabha has 46 members of the Congress, 13 of the Trinamool Congress, 9 of Samajwadi Party, 6 of the Left and 5 of DMK and 4 members of the RJD, NCP and BSP. Apart from this, there are 2 members of TDP, 1 of Muslim League, 2 of PDP, 1 of JDS, 1 of Kerala Congress and 6 of TRS. In total the Opposition has 100.
MPs who can swing
Apart from the parties standing with the ruling party and the Opposition, there are 19 other members in the Rajya Sabha. A lot will depend on their attitude as well. These include 1 Rajya Sabha member of Assam Gana Parishad, 1 of Bodoland People’s Front, 1 of MDMK, 1 of Naga People, 1 of PMK and 1 of Sikkim Democratic Front. Apart from this, 6 Rajya Sabha members are Independents and others.