Guwahati, May 7: The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 begins its crucial public hearing from today. The JPC will be on the maiden trip to the state and will hold a meeting with different organizations. Around 100 organizations, including the BJP-led government’s allies AGP and BPF, and opposition parties Congress and AIUDF, have applied to make representations before the committee headed by BJP MP Rajendra Agrawal.
What is the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016?
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was introduced by the Centre in Lok Sabha in July, 2016 to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who belong to six communities – Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – eligible for citizenship of India.
The proposed amendment is stoutly opposed by several groups in Assam.
The JPC, headed by BJP MP Rajendra Agrawal, will hold meeting today with different organisations in Guwahati and in Silchar on May 8.
The members of JPC will have another meeting on May 9. On May 10, the members will visit Shillong for similar meeting.
“Discussions will be held with migrants/NGOs/public representatives and other stakeholders to hear their views and suggestions on the matters relating to various provisions of the bill,” official sources said.
Representatives of the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Law & Justice and State government will be present during the discussions and the committee is expected to have a separate discussion with them later after the organizations and individuals make their representations.
Each organization will be given time slots to make their representations. Only five members from an organization can meet the committee. Over 300 security personnel are expected to be deployed in and around the venue to ensure there is no untoward incident.