Guwahati: For the first time, BJP’s allies in the northeast would come together on Tuesday against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, said a report.
Notwithstanding the meeting, the BJP has continued to deny a rift with regional partners. “We (NDA allies in the northeast) have differences of opinion over the Bill, but I don’t think it will have any impact on national politics or on the Lok Sabha elections,” party leader and convener of the North East Democratic Alliance (Neda), Himanta Biswa Sarma, told a leading daily on Monday.
“I am in touch with Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma. Opposition to the Bill will not in any way harm the anti-Congress platform or the process to make Narendra Modi Prime Minister again,” he added.
Conrad, also the president of National People’s Party (NPP), was the first northeast CM to oppose the Bill and his government the first to adopt a resolution against it. A meeting between leaders of BJP’s former ally Asom Gana Parishad and NPP have also led to speculation that a non-BJP front may emerge.
While Sarma allays fears of a breaking up of the NDA, BJP’s partners in the northeast are holding a meeting convened by the NPP to discuss the bill. Parties that will attend the meeting include Mizo National Front (MNF) led by Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, National Democratic People’s Party led by Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio, Indigenous People’s Front of Tripura, which is in alliance with the BJP, Sikkim Democratic Front led by Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Kumar Chamling and the NPP units from Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur.
“This meeting has been organized to voice our united protest against the bill. The entire region is protesting against the bill and it’s unfortunate that the Assam government has ignored sentiments of the indigenous people and is instead attacking people and organisations opposing the bill,” AGP president Atul Bora said.
A delegation of JD(U) led by party general secretary KC Tyagi and the party’s national vice-president Prashant Kishore will also be present. All other regional parties in Meghalaya, which are part of the ruling
Meghalaya Democratic Alliance, have also confirmed their participation apart from regional parties from Manipur, Nagaland, Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura, said the daily.
It must be noted that cabinets of Meghalaya and Mizoram have adopted a resolution resolving to oppose the passage of the bill. Even the BJP-led Manipur government has expressed reservation against it.