Report: 27000000 Votes Added To BJP’s Kitty with Citizenship Amendment Bill…
It’s not all in good faith: The passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019 helps the Modi-led ruling BJP further amplify its vote bank as it stands to gain as much as 2.7 Crore votes to be precise- in the future with the move. Here’s the other side of the story.
Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, failed to scrutinize the ruling BJP’s Citizenship Amendment Bill. Criticism was ripe and the bill was tagged Anti-Muslim and Anti-Constitution. However, after a 6-hour debate where Union Home Minister Amit Shah played a starring role, the opposition was unable to push back.
The bill flags off the BJP’s Ghar Wapsi strategy to provide citizenship to six minority communities – Hindu, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis, and Christians fleeing persecution in three countries – Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
Biggest Controversy – The bill is that it excludes Muslims seeking immigration to India from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.
Why Exclusion maybe Unconstitutional – Because Article 14 of the Indian Constitution provides for equality before the law or equal protection within the Indian territory.
The reason for Exclusion – Home Minister Amit Shah reasons that because all three countries Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh are Muslim states. Thus, as per the HM, Muslims are not persecuted minorities in those nations.
Why CAB may be against the idea of India?
The ruling BJP may have given birth to unconstitutional situations for the citizens of a country for political gains.
The bill essentially alters the idea of the nation enshrined under the thoughts of India’s freedom fighters like Mahatma Gandhi, Pt. Jawaharlal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Dr. BR Ambedkar, and many others. The founding fathers kept aside religion, caste, race, creed, and sex from the framework of India.
In short, the bill may be politically discriminating on the basis of religious beliefs.
Investigation: Gains for BJP
While talks of the bill destroying India’s secular democracy ethos, the uncontrolled immigration, and elemental flaws in the draft are all around, a question arises on how the polarizing move will affect BJP’s vote banks.
Undoubtedly, the influx of immigrants who become citizens will also become voters. And inadvertently vote for BJP.
Why It’s a Vote Bank Win for BJP?
In 2014, BJP, in its election manifesto, promised to welcome Hindus from these countries and give shelter to them in India.
As per the Intelligence Bureau report, a total of 31,313 immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan from these six communities are already residing in India on long-term visas. They will be the immediate beneficiaries of the CAB seeking refuge on the grounds of religious persecution. This would certainly make them a part of BJP’s vote bank in the future.
Furthermore, if one looks at the population of these 6 minority communities in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan, it accounts for approx. 2.7 crore people.
Breaking down the numbers: Who all stand to be Indian citizens?
Approximately 17 hundred Parsis, 10 to 20 thousand Sikhs, 10 to 20 thousand Buddhists, 31.5 lakh Hindus, and 39 lakh Christians reside in Pakistan. There are no concrete reports of the Jain population in Pakistan.
Approximate Number of CAB-acknowledged Minority in Pakistan: 70,71,700 – 70,91,700 i.e. around 70 lakhs.
As per multiple reports, Hindus amount to 1.75 crores, Sikhs 5.5 lakh, Christians 8 lakh, Buddhist 16 lakh, and Parsis are 1,000 in Bangladesh. Again, there is no concrete report of the Jain population in Bangladesh’s Census.
Approximate Number of CAB-acknowledged Minority in Bangladesh: 2,04,51,000 i.e. around 2.04 crores.
In war-torn Afghanistan, there is no such official census available. But as per multiple reports, there are approximately around 1,000 to 8,000 Christians (hidden Christians and converted to Islam but following Christianity), 3,000 Sikhs, 1,000 Hindus, and 1,000 Buddhists residing in the country. Unsurprisingly, there are no such reports of Jains and Parsis in Afghanistan.
Approximate Number of CAB-acknowledged Minority in Afghanistan: 6,000 to 13,000.
If all these become Indian citizens…
Then BJP is set to acquire at least 2 crores 70 lakh new votes in future elections.
Consequently, if all these people eventually become part of the electorate, the number will significantly enhance the pro-BJP voting demography in India.
Research and Inputs: Abhishek Kumar Sushil