Chief minister of Meghalaya Conard Sangma met Union home minister Rajnath Singh and asked him to reconsider the Citizenship Amendment bill 2016 as it could prove to be a major law and order problem for his state as well as the Northeast region.
“We have expressed our concern on the bill along with all the coalition partners to the home minister,” Sangma said. “We hope that the government will reconsider. We have expressed concerns of political parties and civil societies and public in general of Northeast India. Rajnath has assured he will look into it and call meeting of Northeast chief ministers to discuss the issue.”
Sangma’s National Peoples Party (NPP) is supporting BJP-led governments in Manipur and Nagaland.
“Everybody in Meghalaya is opposed to the bill. I urge your good office to reconsider the decision and find a solution for the people of Meghalaya and the Northeast,” said health minister of Meghalaya, AL Hek.
Sangma led a six-member party delegation including BJP leaders to home minister in New Delhi. Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga also expressed his reservation about the bill.
Several allies of the BJP have also made their opposition to the “discriminatory” bill known to the ruling party, but it maintained that the “bill is not any state or region specific, it is for the entire country”.
“We’re reaching out to our alliance partners who have expressed concerns over the bill, we’ll reassure them that interests of each and every state will be taken care of. We’re confident that those who have left will come back,” BJP’s troubleshooter and general secretary Ram Madhav, said referring to the Asom Gana Parishad’s (AGP) exit from the NDA over the bill.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which has triggered massive protests in the northeastern states, was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8. The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan who entered India before December 31, 2014.