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Centre unlikely to take ordinance route
KALYAN BAROOAH
 NEW DELHI, Jan 10 - The Centre is unlikely to take the ordinance route to enact the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, but will try to pass it in Rajya Sabha during the next session.

Talking to this newspaper on the sidelines of the customary end-of-the-session lunch, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Vijay Goel said the Centre would soon open negotiations with opposition parties to pave the way for passage of the Bill in the next session of Parliament that gets under way on January 31.

Goel said the Bill could not be accommodated yesterday, as the priority was to pass the 124th Constitution Amendment Bill. “We are not thinking about bringing an ordinance to pass the citizenship Bill,” he stressed.

On Wednesday, the Congress party outmanoeuvred the government and ensured that the Bill was kept pending. The Home Minister also made a statement on the law and order situation in the Northeast at the insistence of the Opposition.

The minister, in fact, disclosed that the Centre is planning to bring four ordinances – the Nalanda University (Amendment) Bill, 2013, the Indian Medicine Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2005, the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2005 and the Homoeopathy Central Council (Amendment) Bill, 2015.

The four pending Bills were withdrawn in the Rajya Sabha. “There is a consensus among the political parties on passing these four Bills,” Goel said.

According to sources, the possibility of Rajya Sabha passing the Bill to grant scheduled tribe status to six communities of Assam is also slim. The Constitution (Scheduled Tribes) Order (Second Amendment) Bill, 2019 is a Constitution amendment Bill and the government has to muster two-third majority in the House to pass it.

Sources indicated that the sense they have got from the opposition is to refer the Bill to either the Parliamentary Select Committee or the Standing Committee or even the Joint Parliamentary Committee.

Meanwhile, the Winter Session of Parliament has been a successful session in terms of wide participation of all political parties in discussions on various issues of national importance, said Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Narendra Singh Tomar, while addressing the media here today.

Tomar said the special achievement of this session was that both the Houses passed the 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill. “It has been a historical achievement. This was an aspiration of crores of underprivileged Indian citizens. Most members of Parliament supported this Bill in the marathon debate and the Bill was passed majority,” the minister said, thanking all those members who supported the Bill.

Goel said the passing of the historic 124th Constitutional Amendment Bill is a proof of the fact that the government is ready to discuss all issues of national importance in Parliament and pass important Bills, provided that the government received support from all political parties.

Meanwhile, BJP general secretary in-charge for the Northeast Ram Madhav said that no single state will be unnecessarily burdened with or subjected to a demographic problem if the citizenship Bill is passed. It is India’s duty to extend citizenship to the people who have been persecuted, he said.

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