BJP ally NPP moves Shah opposing Citizenship Bill

The party led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said it was firm in its stand against the bill even as the Centre was planning to introduce it again in the Parliament. 

National People's Party (NPP), an ally of BJP in the Northeast resolved to fight against the NDA's Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the present format stating that more measures are required to protect interests of the indigenous people in the region.

The party led by Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said it was firm in its stand against the bill even as the Centre was planning to introduce it again in the Parliament. 

"The party has unanimously resolved to oppose CAB and this is not just the resolution of the NPP but of the people of the entire Northeast and all the state governments of the Northeast and all the organisations. We are thankful to the Home Minister Amit Shah for inviting political parties and different organisations of the Northeast to discuss the matter and for taking certain steps and measures to safeguard the interests of the people of the region. However, we strongly feel that more steps and measures will be required to protect the rights of the indigenous people in the region” said a statement quoting Sangma.

This comes when Amit Shah held a meeting with various organisations and parties in the Northeast on Saturday and reportedly assured that provisions of the bill would not be effective in states having Inner Line Permit (ILP) and protected under Sixth Schedule of the Constitution. ILP is in place in Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh but organisations in Meghalaya has been demanding the same fearing "infiltration of illegal migrants" after the passage of the CAB and completion of the NRC in neighbouring Assam.

Sangma has been more vocal against the bill despite being a coalition partner with BJP in Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, and Manipur. Sangma had earlier convened a meeting of BJP's allies in the Northeast and resolved to protest together when NDA tried to pass the bill in January this year.

Organisations in the Northeast are against the bill as it seeks to offer citizenship to non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, who had migrated till December 31, 2014, due to "religious persecution." They fear that indigenous people would become minorities if "illegal migrants" are given citizenship through this bill.

NPP expansion: 

The national executive meeting of NPP held in New Delhi on Saturday also discussed measures to intensify enrolment drive in different states of the country, reach out to youths, propagate and motivate people to be part of NPP. NPP at present leads the government in Meghalaya and is part of the BJP-led government in Manipur.

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