File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi

Guwahati: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday assured the people of the Northeast, especially the youth, that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will not harm their rights.

Addressing a public meeting in Solapur, Maharashtra, Modi said, “I want to assure my brother and sisters of Assam and the Northeast, the youth there, that their rights will not be harmed,” the prime minister said.”

Earlier on Tuesday, Modi had said in Lok Sabha that the rights of all sections would be protected. The Quota (The Constitution (124rd Amendment) Bill) and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would not affect their rights.

The Lok Sabha on Tuesday passed the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill amid massive protests across Northeast. The Bill, first introduced in 2016 and recently modified by Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Christian and Parsis from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh.

Since the introduction of the Bill in 2016, the BJP has drawn much criticism from various quarters of the Northeast, particularly in Assam, as the states will have to bear the burden of illegal migrants.

At least 70-odd organisations, including the influential All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS), and the Northeast Students’ Union (NESO) — the umbrella students’ organisation of the Northeast — have been demanding the removal of the controversial Bill.

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