JPC may suggest CAB minus Bangladesh


Bowing to the intense pressure from people of Assam, the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) may suggest to keep out Bangladesh from the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016.

In a significant development, the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 has decided to submit its report to Parliament and in this regard a final meeting has been convened on November 20.

According to sources, the JPC report on the Bill is likely to recommend amendment to the Bill by taking Bangladesh out of the purview of the Bill.

Sources said that a broad consensus has emerged among the members of the JPC that it should recommend amendment to the preamble of the Bill.

Confirming the development, Bhubaneswar Kalita, a member of the Committee, said that he has in his recommendation suggested that Bangladesh should be taken out of the purview of the Bill.

“We are meeting on November 20 and see what emerges in the discussion but the broad feeling is that the preamble of the Bill should be amended and the JPC should recommend it to Parliament,” he said.

According to sources, even nominated member Swapan Dasgupta, who is close to BJP, has recommended that Bangladesh should be taken out of the purview of the Bill. Other members of the Congress party have also suggested as such, as have the regional parties, including the Trinamool Congress, the sources confided.

As reported, Trinamool Congress MP Saugata Roy had initially suggested that Bangladesh should be kept out to prevent further trouble over the Bill.

JPC Chairman Rajendra Agrawal had sought opinion of the individual members of the JPC on the Bill before the committee takes a final view.

The November 20 meeting will be crucial as the report of the JPC will be finalised on that day on the basis of the recommendation of the MPs, said sources.

Explaining the development, sources said that in the light of the troubles in Assam, it was thought to be wise to take out Bangladesh from the purview of the Bill. It was felt that there would be no problem if Hindus of Pakistan and Afghanistan are given citizenship, said sources.

The proposal of the Chairman not to submit any report to Parliament also did not find favour with the members, as it was apprehended that the NDA government, taking advantage of the situation, would withdraw the Bill from the House and later bring an Ordinance after the Budget Session next year ahead of the general election, explained the sources.

“As of now we are assuming that the government will bring the Bill in Parliament minus Bangladesh, which should not be a cause for alarm,” said sources.

Meanwhile, in another development, a delegation of Sindhi community, which is also likely to be affected by the Bill, was told by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh that there is little possibility of the Centre bringing in the Bill due to paucity of time. He also pointed to the turmoil in Assam to explain that it is not possible to bring the Bill at this stage, said a member of the delegation who had met the Union Home Minister. The Home Minister said that the two notifications of 2015 should suffice to protect the rights of the Sindhi and other Hindu communities.


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