Bhubaneswar: The contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday should not be looked in a religious or communal point of view, rather it should be looked in a much bigger context for the national interest, said Biju Janata Dal (BJD) while supporting the Bill.
BJD national spokesperson Dr. Sasmit Patra said that the CAB has wider spectrum of impact not only in India, but also for countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
Odisha is a peace loving and a secular state. BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is widely known as a secular leader. After closely examining the Bill, the BJD believes that there is no relationship between Citizenship Amendment Bill and National Register of Citizens (NRC), Patra said.
NRC is altogether a different thing and needs more discussion on it. The legislation seeks to make it easier for non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to gain citizenship in the country. Sri Lanka has been kept out of the Bill.
Earlier any person resides in India for 11 years were eligible to get Indian citizenship; however it has been slashed to five years, for which thousands and thousands of people will be benefitted.
The Biju Janata Dal has also given three suggestions that included (i)inclusion of Sri Lanka in the Bill as minority Muslims and Hindus are being neglected there and they should not be deprived of it.(II) It should not be linked with NRC.It is a separate issue and needs wider discussion and Government should look into. (III) It is the moral responsibility of the Government to pacify or clear any doubt that might have been created in the minds of Muslims after being not included in the Bill.
And finally, the Bill which was introduced in the Lok Sabha should not be politicized, said the BJD in a press release.
For larger interest of the country, the BJD supported the Bill, and any doubt whatsoever created in the minds should be addressed and answered, the party said.
Ruling BJD is hopeful that the suggestion put fourth by it will be implemented.
All doubts whatsoever being created should be clarified and the government has no such ill intention toward them. Whatever being done, it is for the benefit of minorities like, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi, Hindu and Christians, he said.