New Delhi: ‘It will be a blot on our country’, said West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee after Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe postponed his visit to India amid ongoing protests in Assam following the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.
Earlier in the day, Japan’s Jiji Press had reported that Abe may consider cancelling his visit to India, scheduled to begin on Sunday. However, an hour later it was confirmed that the both sides (India and Japan) agreed to defer the summit. “Both sides have decided to defer the visit to a mutually convenient date in the near future,” the foreign ministry said.
Earlier last week, MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar had announced that a summit between PM Modi and his Japanese counterpart Abe will take place between December 15 and 17. Guwahati was the planned venue for a summit between the two leaders but the city has been engulfed in ugly agitation, ever since the contentious Bill was cleared in both the Houses of the Parliament.
Yesterday, Bangladesh Foreign Minister AK Abdul Momen and Home Minister cancelled their visits to India in the wake of the protest in the northeastern states. Bangladesh Home Minister Khan was scheduled to visit Meghalaya for an event on December 13.
While Lok Sabha cleared the Bill in a midnight sitting on Monday, the Upper House passed the legislation on Wednesday.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which has now become an Act, following President Kovind’s assent, aims to grant Indian citizenship to six non-Muslim minority migrants–Hindus, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and Parsis facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.