Mamata termed Citizenship Bill as ‘conspiracy’

Dhubri: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday questioned the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which sought to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Addressing an election rally here, Mamata said, “As per Citizenship Amendment Bill, you will be a foreigner for six years and then you will be given citizenship, why? What will you do in those six years? What about your job, school and other essential things. This is nothing but a conspiracy.”

On Thursday too, Mamata had termed the Citizenship Bill a conspiracy while addressing a rally in Cooch Behar in West Bengal.

The Citizenship Bill, which was passed in Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014. Attempts by the Central government to pass it through the Rajya Sabha were stalled by the Opposition.

Under the proposed amendments in the Bill, the minimum residency period for citizenship was being reduced from the existing 12 years under the present law to 7 years.

However, citizenship was supposed to be given to them only after due scrutiny and on the recommendation of district authorities and the state government.

The issue had led to numerous protests in the state in the past.