Union Home Minister Amit Shah is scheduled to visit Mizoram on Saturday, his first visit to the north-eastern state after assuming the charge of the ministry. The visit is said to be a part of Bharatiya Janata Party’s efforts to reach out to the people of the north-east prior to the introduction of the Citizenship Amendment Bill. He will also discuss the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) related issues with the state government and civil societies.
According to sources, a few Church bodies might also have a meeting with the Home Minister. NGO Coordination Committee (parent civil society organization) will be representing the civil societies. Mizo Students' Union is also a part of the NGO Coordination Committee. This is the first meeting of the Union Home Minister regarding CAB with the agitating organizations. He will also be addressing BJP party workers in Mizoram. His visit will be preceded by that of Himanta Biswa Sarma, Assam finance minister and convener of the platform of non-Congress parties floated by the BJP - North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), on October 1.
During NEDA Conclave in Guwahati in September, Amit Shah said that all those who are protesting against CAB will be taken into consultation and then only the bill will be brought in Parliament. Amit Shah has said the bill will be brought in the next session of Parliament and before that, the consultation process has to be concluded. The bill is aimed at making minority communities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhist, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh eligible to apply for Indian citizenship and was passed in the Lok Sabha in the BJP government’s earlier tenure.
On Monday, Assam Finance, Health and PWD Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said that the central government will reintroduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament in November. Addressing a public meeting, Sarma said the government will table CAB in Parliament in November and a new NRC will again be prepared under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah.
Sarma said the central government has decided to bring such a bill that safeguards the interests of the indigenous communities of Assam and the other northeastern states. "People must not think that the bill is against the interest of their culture, language and heritage but that they are giving shelter to unfortunate people," the minister said.