Citizenship Amendment Bill: Ten NE parties & JD(U) unite to oppose

Shillong: Amid gradually intensifying protests to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill, Meghalaya Chief Minister and National People’s Party (NPP) president Conrad Sangma on Tuesday announced that 10 political parties from the North East, including key BJP allies, and the JD(U) have unanimously decided to oppose Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Local bodies have also supported the political parties in opposing the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

“The meeting resolved to meet the President and Prime Minister and appeal to withdraw the Bill,” Sangma, who was the convener of the meeting, said.

The Bill has been passed in Lok Sabha and yet to voted in Rajya Sabha.

The ten political partes who participated in the meeting were Mizo National Front (MNF), United Democratic Party (UDP), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Naga Peoples’ Front (NPF), National Peoples’ Party (NPP), National Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), Hill State Peoples Democratic Party (HSPDP), Peoples Democratic Front (PDF), Indigenous People Front of Tripura (IPFT) and the Khnam.

The JD(U) was represented at the meeting by its north east incharge, NSN Lotha.

It is important to note here that the Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian nationality to people belonging to minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12, even if they don’t possess any proper document.

This was an election promise of the BJP in 2014.

Notably, the amendment to the Citizenship Bill is causing a lot of unrest in North-East India.

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