Will move ahead if consensus comes but Citizenship Bill vital: Amit Shah

New Delhi: BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday said that the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was “very necessary” and added that the government was working on building a consensus with stakeholders in the northeast.

Addressing the media here, Shah also said that the government had brought the bill after much thought and Home Minister Rajnath Singh was holding consultations with various people to address the opposition to the issue.

“There are two sides of a coin. There are decisions that some like and some don’t… The fate of huge number of refugees can’t be kept hanging in the balance and we are firm on it,” he said.

When asked on what stand would BJP take if suggestions come to withdraw the Bill since it has created unrest in the entire northeast, Shah said: “There are some issues on which there are differing opinions among different sections of people in the country. The Citizenship Bill has been taken up by BJP and the government after a lot of deliberation on it. It is very important and necessary for the country. But we are talking to all the parties including those in the north-east… Rajnath Singh has already spoken to some parties… we will go by the consensus that comes up, the Citizenship Bill is highly necessary for the country.”

The Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who entered India before December 31, 2014.

Political parties and civic groups in the northeast say if this is implemented, “outsiders” will overwhelm the local population.

The BJP President was also committed to build a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.

“The BJP wants the Ram Temple should be built at the same place in Ayodhya where Lord Ram was born. Our stand is clear. There is no confusion.”

Asking opposition parties not to create obstacles in the construction of Ram temple, he told them to clear their stand on the issue.