National People’s Party MP Agatha Sangma on Sunday demanded the repeal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act during a meeting of the National Democratic Alliance before the Winter Session of Parliament, PTI reported.
Sangma said that a decision was taken to repeal the three agriculture-related laws keeping in mind the interest of the people. “...Therefore, I requested the government to repeal the CAA keeping in mind the same sort of sentiments of the people from the North East,” the MP from Meghalaya’s Tora constituency said.
“I made this demand on behalf of my party and people from the North East,” she added.
Sangma said that there has been no response from the government so far but it has taken note of the demand.
The National People’s Party heads a coalition government in Meghalaya, which includes the Bharatiya Janata Party. Agatha Sangma’s brother Conrad Sangma is the chief minister of Meghalaya.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Act provides citizenship to refugees from six minority religious communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan, on the condition that they have lived in India for six years and entered the country by December 31, 2014.
Critics fear that the CAA when used in conjunction with the National Register Citizens will allow the government to force many Muslims to prove their citizenship. The government and its supporters have sought to insist that the CAA and the NRC are not linked.
The National Register of Citizens is a proposed nationwide exercise to identify undocumented immigrants.
In the North East, the law also led to renewed anxieties that large numbers Bengali-speaking migrants from Bangladesh may swamp communities defined as indigenous to the region.
To address these concerns, the Centre had introduced geographical exemptions in the Citizenship Amendment Bill for tribal-dominated Sixth Schedule and Inner Line Permit areas. It also extended the Inner Line Permit regime to the state of Manipur and Dimapur in Nagaland overnight.