Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is a criminal attack on the northeast and an attempt by the government to ethnically cleanse the region.
He made the statement hours before a debate on the controversial bill in parliament.
“The CAB is a attempt by Modi-Shah Govt to ethnically cleanse the North East. It is a criminal attack on the North East, their way of life and the idea of India. I stand in solidarity with the people of the North East and am at their service,” Rahul tweeted.
Protests erupted in northeastern states against the bill which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The Bill would not be applicable to Mizoram, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh where the inner line permit (ILP) system exists and those tribal regions of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya which are governed under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to grant Indian Citizenship to persons belonging to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities who have migrated to India after facing persecution on grounds of religion in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh, if they fulfil conditions for grant of citizenship.
The bill was comfortably passed in the Lok Sabha on late Monday night as the ruling BJP enjoys a clear majority in the house with 311 members favouring it, 80 voting against it after a heated debate.
The Shiv Sena, a former BJP ally that voted in favour of the Bill in the Lok Sabha however, had said its support in the Rajya Sabha is not certain.