Citizenship Bill will not be passed in Rajya Sabha, claims Yashwant Sinha

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‘Modi will not have second term as PM’

HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Feb 10: Former Union finance minister Yashwant Sinha on Sunday said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 will not be passed in the Rajya Sabha even as he insisted that the Modi government is not going to come to power for a second term.

“Before coming here, I met lots of people. Except the BJP, all the people told me that they won’t let the Bill pass in the Upper House at any cost. So, I don’t think the government will dare to pass the Bill by force in the Rajya Sabha,” Sinha said this here while delivering a talk on ‘State of the Nation and the Way Forward’ organised by Asom Nagarik Samaj.

“Sometime they do it… In case of important bills, sometimes they are passed by voting amid ruckus in the House. But considering the importance of the Citizenship Bill, I don’t think they will dare to pass the Bill amid ruckus,” Sinha, the veteran politician, who quit the BJP last year, said.

The ongoing budget session of Parliament will be over in two days and this is the last Parliament session of this government, the Finance minister of Atal Bihari Vajpayee government said.

“I would also like to tell you with confidence that this government is not coming to power for a second time. So there is nothing to worry. If there are still worries, please wait for two days, after February 13, we all can breathe easy,” Sinha said.

He dubbed as “incorrect from all angles” the Bill which seeks to provide Indian citizenship to six minority groups from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

“This Bill should not be passed because it is incorrect from all angles — legal, constitutional, moral. And from the point of view of Assam Accord it is incorrect. This Bill is also against the ethos of the country. There is nothing like merit in this bill,” the former Union minister said.

“The Bill has posed an existential question before the people of Assam and Northeast. If someone tries to end your existence, obviously he or she will protest and that is the reason the people of the Northeast are protesting,” he said.

“If the entire Northeast is standing up against the Bill, it is because it has posed an existential threat to the whole of the region,” he also said.

Launching a scathing attack on NDA government at the Centre, Sinha said that the government at has been challenging all the constitutional conventions and destroying all democratic institutions of the country.

“You all know that we have a written Constitution. There are some constitutional conventions in the country which needs to be respected. But the government is hardly following any constitutional conventions these days,” he said.

Referring to the status of the Union Cabinet, Sinha said that in the current dispensation everything is decided from the Prime Ministers’ Office. The BJP and PDP formed the government in Jammu and Kashmir. However, Amit Shah visited Kashmir one day and announced that the BJP is pulling out support from the PDP. The home minister who was sitting in his office in North Block came to know about this through television channel,” Sinha said.

“When the Prime Minister signed the Naga Framework Agreement with NSCN (I-M), the Union home minister came to know about it only when he was rushing to the press conference convened by the PMO the same evening. The Raksha Mantri was not aware when Prime Minister finalised the Rafale deal in Paris,” Sinha further said.

“Union finance minister came to know about the demonetization only when he was on his way to the Cabinet meeting where the Prime Minister announced demonetization drive. So policies are being framed from the PMO. You take up any of the Budget speech of the Union finance minister and see for yourself. He falters, he halts, mispronounces … it seems that he was reading something which was written by someone else,” he said.

“While reading out the Budget speech in 2017, the Union finance minister spoke about ease of doing business. Then he read ‘now we are going to concentrate on ease of leaving’ instead of ease of living’. Soon after that Vijay Mallya escaped…. this is the condition of finance minister,” he said.

Taking on the external affairs minister, former Union minister said that he does not remember one occasion when the Prime Minister has asked the external affairs minister to accompany him during his foreign tours.



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