SHILLONG, Jan 15: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma said on Tuesday that he has sought an appointment to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
“As a government, we have taken the lead in opposing this Bill and we will continue opposing it. Now the situation is slightly different because the Bill has not been passed in the Rajya Sabha and it is not a complete amendment yet. Therefore, right now we are waiting and watching what the (Central) government does,” Sangma told the media here.
“We (a delegation of the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance) have sought an appointment and we hope to get it very soon within a week’s time.”
Sangma said that all MDA partners will be part of the delegation and will express the concerns of the citizens of the state and the northeastern people as a whole.
Asked if the MDA government should cut off ties with the Centre over the controversial Bill, Sangma said: “We are yet to take a call on that because the Bill has not been amended completely. When it is amended in full, then the situation arises, but it is not appropriate for me to comment right now.”
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) have also submitted separate letters to Modi opposing the controversial Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha.
It aims to remove hurdles for eligible migrants of six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan from getting Indian citizenship.
Two BJP members of the Garo Hills Autonomous District Council – Kurosh Marak and Sofiur Rahman – quit the BJP in protest.
The Bill is expected to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha during Parliament’s upcoming Budget Session as members of the opposition strongly opposed it.
The six-party MDA coalition includes 20 members from the National People’s Party, seven from the United Democratic Party, four from the People’s Democratic Front, two each from the HSPDP and the BJP, one from the Nationalist Congress Party besides three Independent members.