Even as Amit Shah meets CSOs to discuss Bill...
NE MPs write to PM opposing CAB
NEW DELHI, Nov 29
Even as Union Home Minister Amit Shah holds discussions on the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) with groups and parties from the North-East on Friday and Saturday, 10 Members of Parliament from the North-East have written to the Prime Minister asking the North-East to be kept out.
The MPs suggested a provision be included in the CAB which would exempt North Eastern States from the Bill’s ambit.
The MPs put their signature to a letter drafted apparently by Vincent H Pala, MP representing Meghalaya’s Shillong (ST) Constituency and on his letterhead. Pala is a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on the Welfare of SC and ST also.
The MPs from the Lok Sabha who put their signatures on the letter are Tokheho Yepthomi (Nagaland), Pradyut Bordoloi (Nawgong, Assam), Gaurav Gogoi (Kaliabor, Assam) and Abdul Khaleque (Barpeta).
MPs describing themselves as representing the “indigenous tribes” of the North East, voiced their “strong objection” (written in bold) to CAB, which the Government planned to introduce in the current winter session of Parliament.
The letter said, “We collectively believe that such a Bill, if implemented uniformly across the Nation, will particularly render the indigenous and tribal populations of the North East region vulnerable to displacement.
“Therefore, we urge you to include within this Bill a provision which exempts from its ambit the residents of the North Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim.”
Requesting the Prime Minister to look into the matter “seriously” and address the concerns at the “earliest”, the MPs reminded the PM that during the visit of the Standing Committee of the 16th Lok Sabha to the North Eastern States “the people also expressed their views which are in line with the demands being put forth by us.”
Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma meanwhile told the media at Guwahati that Home Minister Amit Shah would be meeting political and social organisations from the North East over two days on Friday and Saturday to discuss the CAB. Contrary to the views held by the MPs, Sarma claimed that no Chief Minister from the region was against the Bill. He was quoted as saying, “I am in touch with most of the Chief Ministers of the region and I know of no such opposition to the Bill. After consultation with the groups, a new draft will be prepared and the Bill will be tabled in Parliament.” He is also learnt to have added that following the data collected through the NRC exercise, it had become imperative to bring in the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the interest of the people of Assam.