New Delhi, Nov 30: The BJP and ruling dispensations in some key north eastern states and the centre on Saturday claimed that Union Home Minister Amit Shah's meetings with key stakeholders on the Citizenship Amendment Bill are going in the "right direction".
"Union Home Minister Sri Amit Shah on Friday consulted political parties and civil society organisations of Tripura and Mizoram for over four hours on proposed CAB. Today he will discuss it with delegations from Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh. Things are moving in right direction," Assam Minister and convenor of BJP-led NEDA Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted. The meetings with Mr Shah were attended by Chief Ministers of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya - Sarbananda Sonowal, Pema Khandu and Conrad Sangma respectively.
Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and several MPs from the region were also present among others.
The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, in order to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who are 'forced to come to India' following religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan. The consultation process between Home Minister and stakeholders in the northeast region will be carried on till December 3, sources said.
On Friday, 12 non-BJP MPs including from Congress and NDA allies urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exclude the north eastern states from the purview of the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill.
"We collectively believe if such a bill is implemented uniformly across the nation, it will particularly render the indigenous and tribal population of the north east vulnerable to displacement," the letter signed by the MPs said. Among others the lawmakers who signed the letter include Gaurav Gogoi, Vincent Pala, Pradyut Bordoloi and Mukut Mithi (all Congress) and also Tokheho Yepthomi (NDPP) and K G Kenye (NPF).
"....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," the letter said. The CAB draft law was an election promise of the BJP in the 2014 and the 2019 general elections. Opposition parties, student organisations, other pressure groups and a large section of people in the north east have opposed the Bill. (UNI)