12 Northeastern MPs write to PM Modi against Citizenship Amendment Bill

Lok Sabha MP from Shillong Vincent H Pala, who took the initiative to write the letter, said it was their moral duty to convey the sentiments of the people of the region to the PM.

Published: 30th November 2019 02:30 AM  |   Last Updated: 30th November 2019 10:50 AM   |  A+A-

Students hold placards as they protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Guwahati on Friday | PTI

By Express News Service

NEW DELHI: Twelve MPs from the Northeastern states have urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exempt the residents of Assam, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram and Nagaland from the ambit of the Citizenship Amendment Bill. 

In a letter, the MPs argued that the Bill, “if implemented uniformly across the nation”, will leave indigenous and tribal population of the Northeast vulnerable to displacement.

The MPs, mostly belonging to the Congress, said all major non-government organisations of the region are also opposing the Bill. 

Lok Sabha MP from Shillong Vincent H Pala, who took the initiative to write the letter, said it was their moral duty to convey the sentiments of the people of the region to the PM.

MP from Barpeta (Assam) Abdul Khaleque, another signatory to the letter, cited protests in Northeast against the Bill and said people in these states have “strong reservations” about the Bill. 

The letter read, “We the undersigned as Members of Parliament representing the indigenous  tribes of Northeastern region would like to express our strong objection to the passing and implementation of CAB in our region.”

Among those who signed the letter include former Arunachal CM and Rajya Sabha member Mukut Mithi and Assam’s Nagaon MP Pradyut Bordoloi. 

Nagaland MP Tokheho Yepthomi, whose National Democratic Progressive Paty (NDPP) is in alliance with BJP, has also signed the letter.  “We request you to look into the matter seriously and address our concerns at the earliest,” the MPs said.

None of the 15 BJP MPs from the Northeast signed the letter. BJP MP from Manipur Rajkumar Ranjan Singh had, however, requested the Home Ministry to exempt the Northeastern state from the purview of the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

Speaking during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, the MP said, “There is a lot of hue and cry in my state of Manipur. People are apprehensive of this new citizenship law. They believe that if this new law is enacted, there will be huge influx of migrants in the state.”  

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