Bhubaneswar: The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Monday voted in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) which was introduced in the Lok Sabha on Monday.
The legislation was tabled in the Lower House after over an hour of heated debate followed by voting. The BJD MPs i voted in favour of the introduction of the Bill. BJD has 12 MPs in the Lok Sabha while it has seven in Rajya Sabha.
“There is no problem in the Bill which was tabled today as it was earlier sent to the Joint Parliamentary Committee. We had proposed three amendments while two have been accepted by the Government,” said BJD MP Bhartruhari Mahtab.
The Bill was an election promise of the BJP in the 2014 and 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
Sources said BJP top brass had earlier talked to parry president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking support of BJD in passing the crucial amendment Bill in the Parliament. The regional party had earlier supported the National Register for Citizenship (NRC) in Assam.
Though BJP enjoys majority in Lok Sabha, it needs support of regional parties like BJD in the Rajya Sabha to pass a Bill.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah introduced in the Lok Sabha the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that seeks to give Indian nationality to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan escaping religious persecution there despite protests from Opposition.
On the other hand, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik targeted the BJD and its president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for supporting the Bill saying the nexus of BJP and BJD is now clearly evident now.