While the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National
Democratic Alliance (NDA) lacks the numbers to reach the halfway mark in the Rajya Sabha, it is confident of keeping its flock together and also hopeful of some of the regional parties supporting the Bill. The opposition has decided that they would participate in the discussion, but might stage a walkout at the time of voting.
The BJP has reached out to regional parties to support the Bill. The Biju Janata Dal, Telangana Rashtra Samiti, YSR Congress Party and Telugu Desam Party could support the Bill. Political parties in the northeastern states, including Sikkim, are also set to support the Bill after Home Minister Amit Shah has met their respective leaderships. Its recent departure from the NDA notwithstanding, the Shiv Sena could also support the Bill to keep its Hindutva image intact, sources in opposition parties said.
The Opposition has decided to reach out to the people through mainstream media and social media to explain its point of view. It wants to flag how the CAB is “inextricably linked” to a countrywide National
Register of Citizens, which will not just harass minorities but also inconvenience Hindus as the example of Assam has shown.
Trinamool Congress Rajya Sabha MP Derek O’Brien said the NRC in Assam was a disaster as it left out 1.9 million people, of which a majority were Hindus who are now running from pillar to post to establish their identity. As many as 27 people have committed suicide after they found their names excluded from the Bill.
Making public her party’s position on the issue, BSP president Mayawati on Thursday described CAB as unconstitutional and divisive, and demanded that it be sent to a parliamentary committee for review. “Citizenship in the name of religion and discrimination in the name of religion of the citizens through it is totally against the basic structure of the humanitarian and secular Constitution of Dr Bhimrao Ambedkar,” the BSP leader said in Lucknow.