NEDA urges Rajnath to shelve CAB plan
GUWAHATI, 18th Jan: Amid ongoing protests across the north-eastern region, several constituent parties of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), the umbrella organisation of regional parties of the northeast floated by BJP in 2016, on Friday asked home minister Rajnath Singh not to go ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Led by Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma (National People’s Party) and his Mizoram counterpart, Zoramthanga (Mizo National Front), a delegation of seven NEDA members, including BJP, met Rajnath in New Delhi and conveyed to him that the bill was not acceptable to majority of the people in the region.
“All the coalition partners in Meghalaya as well as Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga expressed our dissatisfaction and concerns over the bill. We have expressed the concerns of various political parties, the civil society and the people of the northeastern region in general that this is a bill that most people in the region will not accept,” Sangma said.
The NPP leader said that they urged the home minister to reconsider and rethink on the bill. “There is no question of modification. What we have urged the home minister is not to go ahead with bill,” Sangma said. He added that chief ministers of all the northeastern states should unite against the bill.
“The home minister told us that he plans to convene a meeting of all the seven chief ministers of the region for a detailed discussion on the bill,” Sangma added. Zoramthanga said that the Citizenship Act for 64 years now should be kept untouched. “Amendments should not be there. Let it remain as it is. Let there be no amendments as it is proposed. That's what we want.”NEDA was formed the day Sarbananda Sonowal was sworn in as Assam chief minister heading a collation government with two regional parties, AGP and BPF in 2016. At the moment NEDA holds power in Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya and Tripura besides Assam. BJP on its own is in power only in Arunachal Pradesh while its NEDA partner MNF is the sole ruling party in Mizoram.