JDU divided on Citizenship (Amendment) Act


Ruling Janata Dal-United (JDU) seems to be divided over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act even as it was officially supported in Parliament by the party.
Days after JDU vice-president Prashant Kishor and national secretary Pawan Verma voiced their concern over the party’s support to the Act, a party MLC participated in a protest rally in Patna on Friday. Gulam Rasool Balyawi, a member of Legislative Council, was seen shouting slogans against the Act in a protest rally organised by an Islamic organisation, Edara-e-Sharia.
Balyawi had earlier urged Chief Minister and party chief Nitish Kumar to reconsider the decision to support the legislation in Parliament.
The party, which shares power with the BJP in Bihar, supported in Parliament the Bill which became an Act with President Ram Nath Kovind giving his assent on Thursday.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, provides for citizenship to non-Muslim refugees of Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan who arrived in India before December 31, 2014.
A day before the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed in Rajya Sabha, Kishor urged the party to reconsider its decision to vote in favour of the Bill on Tuesday.
On Friday, he gave a clarion call to oppose the Act urging non-BJP ruled states to clear their stand.
“The majority prevailed in Parliament. Now beyond the judiciary, the task of saving the soul of India is on 16 Non-BJP CMs as it is the states who have to operationalise these acts. Three CMs (Punjab/Kerala/WB) have said NO to CAB and NRC. Time for others to make their stand clear,” he tweeted.
JDU leader Pawan Verma has called the Act as unconstitutional and discriminatory in nature.
“This is unconstitutional, discriminatory, and against the unity and harmony of the country, apart from being against the secular principles of the JDU,” Varma tweeted before the legislation made its way through Rajya Sabha.


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TheDispatch Staff