The North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Convener Himanta Biswa Sarma on Tuesday spoke about the introduction of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 during the ongoing session of the Parliament. The bill provides citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh who were subjected to persecution in their countries.
"The Home Minister has indicated that the bill will be introduced in the Parliament this session," NEDA convener and Assam Finance Minister told ANI ahead of a crucial meeting with Amit Shah. Shah held discussions with several politicians, activists, and representatives of the civil society members of the northeastern states over the proposed bill during the three-day meeting on November 29, 30, and December 3. Politicians and civil society members of Assam, Manipur and Nagaland met with the Home Minister on Tuesday, Sarma said.
He said, "After discussions, a framework of the CAB will be formulated and that will be introduced in the Parliament. I cannot comment on what will happen to it further." Sarma said the leaders discussed several aspects of the proposed bill at lenght. "We discussed at length whether CAB will override or will it be subject to provisions like existing 6th schedule of Constitution and Inner line permit applicable in a few states of the North East region," he said.
Furthermore, on November 30, Sarma spoke the meeting with Amit Shah which concluded with a consensus that efforts would be made to accommodate North East specific grievances in the new draft of the bill.
Amit Shah has repeatedly informed the Parliament that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is important so that minorities like Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Christian, and Parsi refugees fleeing discrimination from neighbouring Pakistan, Bangladesh, or Afghanistan, can obtain Indian citizenship. The Bill which was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8 this year, aims at granting citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014. The Bill has been opposed by nativist groups who are against granting citizenship to refugees fearing economic imbalance in their areas.
(With Inputs from ANI)