Citizenship Bill Is A National Issue: Samujjal Bhattacharya

New Delhi, February 12, 2019

All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) advisor Samujjal Bhattacharyya on February 12th, 2019 urged all the national and regional parties of India to vote against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

“The Citizenship Bill is not an issue of Assam or the Northeastern states. It is a national issue. Each and every political party of India should extend their support to the people of the Northeast who have been fighting to protect their identity,” said Bhattacharyya.

The AASU on February 11th, 2019 held talks with Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma over the Bill. “The BJP is firm on passing the Bill even by adopting unfair means,” he added.

The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is likely to be tabled in Rajya Sabha on February 12th, 2019 amid protests in the Northeast. The Bill will be moved by Home Minister Rajnath Singh in the Upper House.

The chief of Northeast states – Meghalaya’s Conrad K Sangma, Arunachal Pradesh’s Pema Khandu, Mizoram’s Zoramthanga and Manipur’s N Biren Singh – have opposed the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that is to be tabled in Rajya Sabha on February 12th, 2019.

The chief ministers have urged Home Minister Rajnath Singh to ensure that it is not passed in Rajya Sabha. Zoramthanga has told Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the people of the northeastern state vehemently opposes the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

The Citizenship Bill was introduced in the Lok Sabha in 2016 to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955. The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship. In other words, it amends the Citizenship Act of 1955.