ITANAGAR: Joining their Meghalaya and Mizoram counterparts, chief ministers of Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur have also voiced their opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
In a meeting with union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Monday, Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu along with chief minister of Manipur N Biren Singh apprised the home minister of the situation prevailing in their respective states in particular and Northeast as a whole following the passing of the Bill in Lok Sabha on January 8.
The contentious bill which seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to provide citizenship to illegal migrants, from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, who are of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian extraction is yet to get a Rajya Sabha nod.
“As there is lot of hue and cry in the Northeast regarding the passing of the bill, we requested the union minister not to pass it,” Khandu said.
It was further informed that Singh assured the chief ministers that the rights of the indigenous people of the Northeast would not be diluted.
The statement of Khandu defending the bill while addressing a gathering at Seijosa in Pakke Kessang district last month has drawn flak from the Opposition and several other student and community based organizations from the State.
The chief minister had said that “people with vested interests” have been misinterpreting the bill to create confusion.
Meanwhile, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students Union (AAPSU) has welcomed the stand taken by Khandu.
“The AAPSU terms the development as historic in many ways and hopes that the Central government will take cognizance of the grievances put forth by the chief minister,” Tobom Dai, general secretary of the union said.
Earlier, Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is not applicable to Nagaland since the state is protected under the provisions of Article 371(A) and the Inner Line Permit.