New Delhi: Twelve non-Bharatiya Janata Party MPs on Friday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, urging him to exclude the northeastern states from the purview of the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill. They were of the opinion that the tribal population of the region will be vulnerable to displacement if the bill comes into effect.
It must be noted that most of these MPs belong to the Congress party and from the Northeastern states (Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim).
“We collectively believe if such a Bill is implemented uniformly across the nation, it will particularly render the indigenous and tribal population of the Northeast vulnerable to displacement,” the letter signed by the 12 members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha said.
Shillong MP Vincent H Pala, the one who penned the letter, told news agency PTI that they felt that it was their moral duty to convey the sentiment of the people of the region to the prime minister.
“We the undersigned as members of Parliament representing the indigenous tribes of the Northeastern region would like to express our strong objection to the passing and implementation of CAB in our region,” the letter said.
Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister and Rajya Sabha member Mukut Mithi and Assam’s Nagaon MP Pradyut Bordoloi were also among those who signed the letter.
It comes at a time when Union Home Minister Amit Shah is holding a series of meetings with chief ministers, political leaders and civil society members and discussing with them issues related to the Bill.
A large section of people and organisations in the Northeast have opposed the Bill, saying it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985, which fixed March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.
The Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, in order 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.
(With PTI inputs)