Shillong, Nov 18: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday said that neither his government nor his party, the National People’s Party (NPP), will support the Citizenship Amendment Bill, if the content of proposed amendment is against the interest of the people of the state and the Northeastern region as a whole.
The BJP-led NDA government has listed the amendment of the Citizenship Act, 1955 during the winter session of Parliament which began on Monday.
“Our stand is very clear on the issue. If there is anything that is against our people of the state and the region as a whole we will always stand against it. The interest of our people and our State and the region is a priority to us,” Sangma said.
“The word CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) is not something which anybody is against. The word CAB has been there in the past. But it is the content of the issue inside it, which is our concern. We would like to know whether the concern of the State, the people of the State are addressed or not,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that the central government is very keen in ensuring that they reach out to various stakeholders and understand their concerns on this issue.
“I have already met Home Minister (Amit Shah) twice on this issue and expressed my concerns on it. He (Home Minister) and the government officials will also discuss the issue with various different groups and organisations on the issue,” he said.
Sangma said that he had also requested the Home Minister to come to Shillong and to visit other Northeastern states and meet different political parties and other stakeholders.
The BJP-led NDA government had introduced the bill in its previous tenure but could not push it through due to vehement protests by BJP allies and opposition parties and it lapsed following the dissolution of the last Lok Sabha.
The North East Students’ Organisation spearheaded agitation against the Bill.
The bill seeks to remove hurdles in the way of eligible migrants from six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan from getting Indian citizenship.