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Rajya Sabha fails to take up bill
NEW DELHI: Home Minister Rajnath Singh Wednesday told the Rajya Sabha that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is intended to pave way for Indian citizenship to the persecuted religious minorities from three countries.
He assured the government was committed to preserving the culture and identity of the North East.
The Rajya Sabha did not take up the bill on Wednesday, the last day of the winter session, and the government is expected to press for its passage in the brief budget session of parliament.
Singh made a statement in the House to address apprehensions on the bill which was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
The Minister said he was aware of the concerns regarding the bill as well as misconceptions being spread about it but would like to dispel the apprehensions of the people of Assam and the Northeast.
He the bill was applicable to the entire country.
He said there were reports of sporadic violence from some parts in Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya during the bandh called over the Bill, but the situation was fully under control and peaceful.
Singh said he was in touch with the chief ministers of these states and would convene meetings soon. “I assure the House that we are committed to preserve Northeast’s identify and culture…We want a peaceful situation in the North East and are in constant touch with the state governments. We will strive to protect the identity and culture of the Northeast and will take steps to address all concerns,” he said.
The Congress members earlier had raised slogans over the bill. The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on Tuesday and was brought to the Upper House after extending its sitting by a day. Congress members, including Ripun Bora, wanted the Home Minister to be called to the House to make a statement on the citizenship bill. (PTI)