Modi’s government has listed a bill in parliament which offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from three neighbouring countries.
According to the Indian media, the disputed bill seeks to provide citizenship to religious minorities in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The government, led by Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said the bill will give refuge to people fleeing religious oppression.
The bill has already prompted widespread protests in the north-east of the country which borders Bangladesh, as people there feel that they will be “overrun” by immigrants from across the border.
The controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is part of a BJP’s agenda to sideline Muslims.
A member of the opposition Congress party, Shashi Tharoor, told parliament amid angry exchanges that the bill “infringes upon the principle of equality before law” guaranteed to all persons, including non-citizens.
The passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) will be a test for the BJP, which commands a majority in the lower house but is short of numbers in the upper house of parliament.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) needs to be ratified by both houses (Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha) to become a law.