NEW DELHI: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Sunday led a delegation of 11 political parties from the Northeast which met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and urged him not to press the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha.
“Called on Union Home Minister Shri @rajnathsingh ji to discuss #CitizenshipAmendmentBill. Rajnath ji has assured that centre would consider the interest of #Northeast people (sic),” Sangma tweeted. “#NESO delegation comprising of AASU, AAPSU, MZP, KSU, GSU, TSF, NSF, AMSU met me and other political parties, at my residence to express their opposition to the CAB, that concerns the #Northeast,” the National People's Party leader added.
BJP allies Mizo National Front, National People's Party, Naga Peoples' Front, National Democratic Progressive Party, Hill State People Democratic Party, Peoples Democratic Front, United Democratic Party, Ason Gana Praishad are united in their protest against the Bill.
“Discussion of Regional Parties of North East with Home Minister @rajnathsingh this morning, he assured that Govt. Would consider the interest of Northeast People before placing bill in Rajya Sabha (sic),” senior AGP leader Prafulla Mahanta tweeted.
The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act to grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from neighbouring Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, if they have stayed in India for six years. The Lok Sabha had passed the Bill in January.
The Northeast political parties oppose the Bill on the grounds that it seeks to grant nationality to non-Muslims who have come up to December 31, 2014, thereby, increasing the deadline from 1971 as per the Assam Accord.
The leaders of the Northeast regional parties will meet representatives of all political parties so that the Bill is not passed in the Upper House of Parliament.