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By Listing Religions, Modi's CAA Broke Atal-Manmohan-Left Concord on Persecuted Minorities

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New Delhi: Following the nationwide protest over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, Bharatiya Janata Party leaders have been playing a video clip of Manmohan Singh demanding on the floor of the Rajya Sabha in December 2003 a legislative amendment to enable the grant of citizenship to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries.

But as usual, the party is not telling us the whole truth, a top BJP leader who was a senior member of the Vajpayee cabinet in 2003 told The Wire.

According to this BJP leader, who chose to speak off the record, Manmohan Singh’s demand for an amendment to existing law was far from what the present CAA mandates. Unlike the CAA, which names a limited set of neighbouring countries and a limited set of qualifying religious groups, the Congress leader had asked for persecuted minorities in general from the neighbourhood to be considered for citizenship.

On December 18, 2003, the Rajya Sabha briefly debated the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that deputy prime minister L.K. Advani had moved. The bill included a sweeping provision declaring all those who have entered India and stayed on without valid papers as “illegal immigrants”.

According to the official Rajya Sabha transcript, this is what Manmohan Singh........

© The Wire