Centre should protect NE’s interests

The Meghalaya BJP unit recently made its stand clear on the citizenship amendment bill (CAB) and urged the central government to exclude Meghalaya from the purview of the bill. The ruling government of Meghalaya had earlier also passed a resolution opposing implementation of the CAB in the state without consulting the stakeholders. The Congress in Assam also decided to stage a dharna in New Delhi to register protest against the CAB. Reportedly, the Congress leadership started their parleys with political parties of other opposition parties with an aim to together oppose the bill in the parliament, saying that the bill violates the preamble of the constitution.
The BJP government had introduced the bill in its previous tenure as well, but could not push it through due to vehement protests by opposition parties, and the bill had lapsed following the dissolution of the last Lok Sabha. The CAB seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who come to India after facing religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, even if they don’t possess proper documents.
The citizenship amendment bill has already been opposed by the people of the Northeast region. The contentious bill, which is an election promise of the BJP, may create unrest in the Northeast if the Centre fails to consider the voice of the people of the region. The central government must take appropriate steps, so that the bill protects the interests of the people of the region, if it is determined to place the bill in the winter session of the parliament.