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‘India will become Israel’, says Asaduddin Owaisi slamming Citizenship Amendment Bill

Abhinav Ranjan
Owaisi, citizenship bill

AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has slammed the Modi government over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. He further said that the clearance of the bill by the Parliament will revive Jinnah’s two-nation theory.

Accusing the BJP of sending a message to Muslims that they are "second-class citizens", Owaisi said that India will join the league of nations who discriminate against their citizens.

"This law violates Article 14 and 21 because you are giving citizenship on the basis of religion which contravenes both the Articles. India will be in the league of Israel which is the most discriminatory state in the whole world," the Hyderabad MP said. He added that the bill will be a dishonour to the freedom fighters.

As an Indian Muslim, Owaisi said, "I rejected Jinnah’s theory now you are making a law wherein unfortunately you will be reminding the nation of two nation theory. What if someone is religiously discriminated in Burma (now Myanmar), what about Tamilians," he said questioning the government.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was approved by the Union Cabinet on Wednesday. The bill is a key part of the BJP’s ideological project. It proposes citizenship to non-Muslim, mostly Hindus, refugees living in India and will protect them from the nation-wide NRC drive the Modi government is planning to identify illegal immigrants.

At the Cabinet briefing, Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said the government has taken care of the interests of everyone and "the interest of India". "People will welcome it as it is in the interest of the nation," he said.

The new legislation proposes granting Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Bill is likely to be tabled in both houses of Parliament for clearance in the ongoing Winter Session.

Meanwhile, opposition parties including the Congress and Trinamool Congress are protesting against the bill. The opposition has been arguing that citizenship cannot be granted on the basis of religion.