New Delhi: While the region erupted with celebrations, a delegation of students' leaders and politicans from Northeast, including allies and former allies of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the region, met Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma in New Delhi on Wednesday evening.
The delegation expressed their happiness over the non-passage of the contentious legislation in Rajya Sabha. The Bill will now die a natural death as it will lapse on June 3 when the present term of Lok Sabha ends this summer.
Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, former chief minister of Assam and a senior leader of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a regional ally of the BJP in Assam which recently severed its ties with the Sarbananda Sonowal-led Assam government, said, “Democracy has succeeded. They (read BJP) were trying to pass the Bill undemocratically.”
Meanwhile, Meghalaya CM Sangma, who flew to Delhi on Sunday to seek support of various political parties in opposing the Citizenship Bill, said, “It is indeed a great moment and I must say an emotional moment for all the citizens especially the Northeast. As you were all aware that even at political platform, social platform, civil socities, NGOs, student bodies, religious groups… We’ve all been standing together to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Today, the sentiments of the people, especially the Northeast has prevailed, the voice of the people has prevailed.”
However, wary of the chances of the BJP trying to table the Bill again, Atul Bora, an AGP leader, said, “The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was being forced against the sentiments of the people of the region. The Upper House was adjourned without even tabling the Bill and if they try to table the Bill again, it is the Northeast will come out in protest.”
With senior leaders of the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) present in Delhi to meet Sangma, who played a significant role in bringing several Northeastern parties together to oppose the Bill, supporters were seen bursting crackers and distributing sweets at its head office in Guwahati, Assam.
Similar celebrations also took place at several other locations of the region where protesters took to the streets to celebrate the “historic win”.