Conrad Sangma Flies To Delhi To Seek Support Against Citizenship Bill

A file photo of Meghalaya CM and NPP chief Conrad Sangma
A file photo of Meghalaya CM and NPP chief Conrad Sangma

Guwahati, February 11, 2019

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on February 10th, 2019 flew to New Delhi to seek the support of the various political parties in opposing the much-debated Citizenship  (Amendment) Bill, which is likely to be tabled in the Upper House on February 12th, 2019. Sangma has also threatened to break ties with the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) if the Bill is passed at the Rajya Sabha.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant nationality to people belonging to minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of their residence in India.

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“The party cannot go against the wishes of the people. The Citizenship Bill, once becomes a law, will change the demography of the region. The ethnic communities in the Northeast region will be reduced to minorities,” Meghalaya Chief Minister said.

The opposition parties, students’ bodies and the civil societies are protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, claiming it will change the region’s demography. Widespread protests broke out in Assam after the Bill was passed at the Lok Sabha on January 8th, 2019.

Unanimous resolution

The National People’s Party (NPP) has taken a unanimous resolution to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. Based on the decision, a resolution has been passed which will be submitted to the Government of India to oppose the Bill and not to go ahead with the Bill at the Rajya Sabha.

Meeting with Rajnath Singh

On February 3rd, 2019, a delegation of the NPP, Asom Gana Parishad held meetings with Union Homa Minister Rajnath Singh. At least 10 allies of the Bharatiya Janata Party, all belonging to the Northeast and Janata Dal (United) met Singh and reiterated their strong opposition to the Bill.

 Snap Ties With NDA

Mizoram CM Zoramthanga said that if a situation arises, the incumbent Mizo National Front(MNF) will withdraw its support to the National Democratic Alliance(NDA) at the Centre if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is not scrapped. Zoramthanga had earlier met Union Home Minister Singh to express their opposition to the Bill.