India Today Conclave 2019: Owaisi, Himanta Biswa debate over Citizenship Bill

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which has triggered massive protests in the northeastern states, was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.

NEW DELHI: Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma from the Bharatiya Janata Party while debating over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Friday said Muslims have been given a country — Pakistan.

During a panel discussion at the India Today Conclave 2019 in New Delhi, in which Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi also took part, Himanta Biswa said:

“In the context of Assam, I fully support the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. This was a historic commitment to the religious minorities of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

“We are just giving citizenship to Hindus. But we have given [a] country to Muslims. We have given Pakistan to Muslims,” he said. “So we have already given a whole lot of country to the Muslims at that point of time [sic]. Now you are just giving citizenship to Hindus, Christians, or small minorities of those countries.”

Asaduddin Owaisi, Chief of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen party, said India was not a Hindu country and told Biswa Sarma that, as a minister of Assam, he was violating the Assam Accord.

Watch the debate here:

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which has triggered massive protests in the northeastern states, was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.

The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who entered India before December 31, 2014, even if they don’ t possess any document.