Celebrations as India nationality law fails

14th February, 2019 10:40:54 printer

GUWAHATI: Celebrations have erupted in northeast India after a contentious nationality law put forward by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government failed to pass, reports AFP.

The proposed changes to the 1955 Citizenship Act would have given Indian nationality to Hindus and other minorities emigrating from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. The legislation—passed by the lower house of parliament in January—sparked angry protests in India’s northeast, long riven by tensions between local tribal and indigenous groups, and settlers from outside. Modi’s ruling alliance failed to present the bill in the upper house, which adjourned on Wednesday after its final session before general elections due by May.

Local media reported that celebrations broke out in some half a dozen northeastern states after it became clear the bill would not be passed. “It is a historic victory for the people of northeast (India). The people of the seven states in the region stood together in opposing the bill forcing the country’s ruling party to give in,” Samujjal Bhattacharyya from the powerful All Assam Students’ Union told AFP.