The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) faced criticism from All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief Asaduddin Owaisi who tore a copy of the draft legislation in the Lok Sabha on Monday calling it “arbitrary in nature” and “against the Muslim community”.
The Hyderabad MP expressed objections over the CAB’s nature while participating in the debate, saying “secularism is the basic structure of the Constitution and the Bill was arbitrary in nature and was in violation of fundamental rights.”
Referring to Mahatma Gandhi’s one of the acts in a foreign land that Owaisi said made him Gandhi, he accused the government of moving the Bill against the Muslim community.
Stating that Home Minister Amit Shah should be prevented from carrying out this enactment, he said, “If you don’t do it, you will be compared with David Ben Gurion, founder of the Jewish state of Israel, and Hitler.”
“Another partition is going to happen. This Bill is against the Constitution and disrespect to our freedom fighters. I tear the Bill, it is trying to divide our country,” Owaisi said.
The AIMIM leader said secularism was the base of the Constitution and that Muslims were also the part of the country.
Earlier, during the introduction of the Bill, he had urged the Speaker to “save the country from Home Minister”.
Shah moved the Bill in the Lower House, saying it sought to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
In his introductory remarks, Shah said the draft legislation was for those minorities that faced religious persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
He clarified as the Muslim community was not persecuted in the three Islamic countries, the Bill specifically mentioned to provide citizenship to six religious persecuted minorities.
Shah also said the Bill was not against Muslims and that if any Muslim sought Indian citizenship based on rules it would be entertained as per the Bill.