The politics of citizenship in Assam is expected to gain further momentum with the draft Citizenship (Amendment) Bill receiving the approval of the Joint Parliamentary Committee without any changes.

The JPC nod has pushed the bill one step closer to becoming a law. The JPC will now meet for the last time on January 3 following which the draft final report will be tabled in the parliament on January 7. The winter session of the parliament will end on January 8.

According to sources the bill will be introduced in the next session of parliament as is likely to go the ordinance way.

In a crucial meet of the JPC held in New Delhi yesterday, the opposition’s suggestion to remove Bangladesh from the list of neighbouring countries and also to take Assam out of the purview of the bill were rejected.

These critical amendments moved by the opposition in the JPC were defeated after Chairperson Rajendra Agarwal put them to vote.

According to sources, a couple of members were abstained from voting, giving BJP the numerical advantage in the 30-member panel. The BJP has 14 members in the panel.

Congress’ Bhubaneswar Kalita and BJD’s B Mahtab moved separate amendments to exclude Bangladesh from the purview of the bill but both amendments were defeated.