Hidden agenda behind BJP bid to pass citizenship bill: Sarkar

Agartala, Feb 4 (PTI) Veteran communist leader and member of CPI(M) politburo Manik Sarkar on Monday said that the BJP has a “hidden agenda” behind its efforts to get the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha, but the opposition political parties would not allow it.
Addressing a rally here, Sarkar, also the former chief minister of the state, said, “The bill is undemocratic and against the spirit of our constitution. The BJP must be having a hidden agenda behind its efforts to pass the bill, but we would not let that happen.”
The public meeting here was organised as part of CPI(M)’s nationwide protest against the contentious bill.
“If the bill is not scrapped, it would have disastrous impact on the country’s northeastern region and badly affect its demographic profile.
“The BJP is playing with fire and it would destroy the peace and harmony in the north-eastern region”, he said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12 years, which is the norm currently, even if they do not possess any document.
Protests have rocked the entire northeast, with organizations and political parties claiming that the bill threatens the identity, language and culture of indigenous people.