Citizenship bill: Centre likely to call Northeast CMs' meeting to resolve concerns

A decision in this regard was taken after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh discussed the matter in detail with Mizoram and Meghalaya chief ministers in a meeting in New Delhi.

Published: 18th January 2019 09:50 PM  |   Last Updated: 18th January 2019 09:50 PM   |  A+A-

Home Minister Rajnath Singh

Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh (Photo | PTI)

By PTI

NEW DELHI: Amid strong protests over the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, the Centre is expected to soon call a meeting of the chief ministers of all northeastern states to address concerns, sources said.

A decision in this regard was taken after Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh discussed the matter in detail with Mizoram and Meghalaya chief ministers in a meeting here.

The controversial bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.

However, large scale protests were witnessed in the northeastern states including Assam and Mizoram over the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government's attempt to pass the bill in the Upper House of Parliament.

ALSO READ: Meghalaya CM-led delegation to meet PM Modi to express unhappiness over Citizenship Bill

"There was a serious discussion on the bill in the meeting. The centre has assured that it will look into the concerns of northeastern states before moving ahead," a highly placed government source said.

"Most likely, a meeting of chief ministers of all northeastern states will be called soon to resolve their concerns," the source added.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said: "Northeastern states will be forced to take a call if it does not get a positive response on the scrapping of the bill."

In the meeting, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga said the centre was informed that all northeastern states were opposing the bill and the law should not be diluted.

"It (amendments) should not be there. Let it be as it is. Let it not be amended as it is proposed. That's what we want," he said.

ALSO READ: Manipur to oppose Citizenship Bill if clause to protect natives not included: CM Biren Singh

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, provides for Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis who fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India instead of the current requirement of 12 years, even if they do not possess any document.

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