The Lok Sabha on Monday passed the Citizenship Amendment Bill after over seven hours of debate, with 311 voting in its support and 80 against it. The bill seeks to give citizenship to refugees from the Hindu, Christian, Buddhist, Sikh and Zoroastrian communities fleeing religious persecution from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
The front page of Indian newspapers highlighted the heated discussions that took place and Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s rejection of the Opposition criticism.
The Telegraph had a sharp headline that said, “What a sham”. It debunked the home minister’s claims in defence of the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill by referring to Partition.
“In and Out” said The Hindu’s infographic about the bill. It pointed that nearly 48 speakers from various political parties participated in the debate and that Manipur would be included in the Inner Line Permit system, thereby “exempting” it from provisions of the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
“Lok Sabha clears Citizenship Amendment Bill: Amit Shah invokes ‘Partition on basis of religion’ to defend Bill” said The Indian Express headline. The frontpage carried snippets on what the Opposition said about the bill, and how Amit Shah defended it.
The Times of India ran the headline “Lok Sabha passes citizenship bill 311-80 at midnight, Amit Shah says NRC is coming”, along with a photo of the home minister and All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen chief Asaduddin Owaisi’s tearing up a copy of the bill. The newspaper pointed that Bharatiya Janata Party’s erstwhile ally Shiv Sena supported the legislation.
Hindustan Times ran a similar headline. “Citizenship bill clears LS after fierce rights debate,” it read. It pointed at Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam MP Dayanidhi Maran’s question on why the bill has completely ignored Sri Lankan Tamils. The government is preoccupied with its hatred for Muslims, he said during the debate.
Assamese newspaper Asomiya Pratidin opposed the passage of the bill and carried a headline saying “Assamese-destroying CAB passed in Lok Sabha”.
Bengali newspaper Anandabazar Patrika said “Amit Shah passes the citizenship bill at midnight”.
“Non-Muslims from neighbouring countries, even without proof, will become citizens: Amit Shah” was the headline of Dainik Jagran. It said stop in the passage is Rajya Sabha. The Hindi newspaper also pointed that Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi tore a copy of the legislation in the midst of a heated debate.
Leading Tamil daily Dinamani carried a straight forward headline saying “Lok Sabha passes Citizenship Amendment Bill”. It highlighted that the ruling All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam supported the bill and Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised Amit Shah on the passage of the bill.