Reconsider Citizenship Amendment Bill Meghalaya CM tells Home Minister Rajnath Singh

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New Delhi, Jan 18 (IANS) Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K. Sangma on Friday urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to reconsider the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 passed in the Lok Sabha.

The Bill aims to remove hurdles for eligible migrants of six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan from getting Indian citizenship. It is expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha during Parliament’s Budget session. The opposition has strongly opposed it.

“We have expressed our concerns about the Citizenship Amendment Bill. All the coalition partners of the Meghalaya government as well as Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga have expressed dissatisfaction over the Bill. So, we have asked the government to reconsider the Bill. We hope the government reconsiders it,” Sangma said.

“The Home Minister has told us that he will look into the matter and will soon call a meeting of Chief Ministers of northeastern states for detailed consultation,” he added.

Asked about his stance in case the government goes ahead with the Bill, Sangma said, “We will take a call when the time comes. We are still in discussion with them. I don’t think it is correct time to comment on that.”

“The Bill will affect the North-East to a large extent. It is against the aspirations of the people and can have serious repercussions on the region’s law and order,” he said.

The Chief Minister, who is leading a delegation of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government, will also meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday to discuss the Bill.

He will also urge the Prime Minister to exempt Meghalaya from the purview of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) Act, 1957, Coal Mines Nationalization Act, 1973.



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