India’s BJP lost majority in key state amid citizenship row

India's BJP lost majority in key state amid citizenship row
Protests against the new citizenship law swept India over the past week. Source: AFP
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Daily US Times, Jharkhand, India: India’s ruling party BJP is set to lose majority in the eastern state of Jharkhand. Main opposition party Congress with its ally won the majority.

The defeat is considered a major setback for BJP’s policies.

BJP and its ally, All Jharkhand Students Union (AJSU) won the election in 2014. The coalition won 42 seats, one more than the number required to form a government.

This number downed drastically. So far BJP won 27 seats whether Congress and its regional ally, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) won 43 seats.

Why this result is important

Entire India’s eye was on this election as nationwide protests against new citizenship law are currently taking place. Three of the five phases of the election were held during these protests.

Though the election in Jharkhand was fought largely on local issues, defeating there is still considered as a huge setback for BJP.

India has been observing massive protest across the country against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC). More than 20 people died during the protests. Many were being shot by police.

The law has sparked a huge backlash among students from a different university, teachers, intellectuals and general people.

Why the law is controversial

The new citizenship law offers amnesty to non-Muslim illegal immigrants from India’s neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. As the law gives citizenship to the follower of other major religion except for Islam, critics fear it undermines India’s secular constitution.

India’s govt. is trying to convince people that only persecuted people, who have no other place than India to go will be granted India’s citizenship. But BJP govt’s this move has drawn criticism from opposition parties and international rights groups. BJP has the majority in both of the houses in the Indian parliament.

It is also controversial because it follows a government plan to publish a nationwide register of citizens that it says will identify illegal immigrants – namely, anyone who doesn’t have the documents to prove that their ancestors lived in India.

The law is also controversial because it follows a government plan to publish a nationwide list of citizens, those who don’t have the documents to prove that their ancestors lived in India will be identified as illegal immigrants.

A National Register of Citizens (NRC) only published in the north-eastern state of Assam, and it created a huge mess there. The list made 1.9 million people effectively stateless. Many people are taken to the detention camp.

The NRC and CAA are closely linked, but only the later will protect non-Muslims who are excluded from the register and face the threat of deportation or internment.

In a rally on Sunday, Modi said to the people’ People who are trying to spread lies and fear, look at my work. If you see any trace of divisiveness… show it to the world