SHILLONG: Prime Minister Narendra Modi defended the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 even as protestors called a 12-hour Assam bandh and waved black flags at different places protesting his visit to the state on Saturday.
“We are committed to protect the interests of Assam. Citizenship will be given to immigrants only after investigation and recommendation by the state government. No immigrant will automatically become an Indian citizen,” he said in Guwahati. He clarified that the proposed amendment is not meant for the immigrants living in Assam and the Northeast alone but for many others, who had migrated from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan and are now living in different parts of India.
The PM also laid the foundation stone of North East Gas Grid which will lead to uninterrupted supply of natural gas across the Northeast. He inaugurated a gas processing plant in Tinsukia and an LPG capacity augmentation of mounted storage vessel in Guwahati.
During his whirlwind tour of the Northeast, the PM also visited Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura to either inaugurate or lay the foundation stone of various projects. He laid the foundation stone of a Greenfield airport at Hollongi near Itanagar and launched a new dedicated channel “DD Arun Prabha” for the state.