Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma has said that his National People’s Party will decide at an appropriate time if it will end ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Nagaland Post reported.
The National People’s Party supports the BJP governments in Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh while the saffron party supports the National People’s Party-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance government.
“We will decide at an appropriate time if the government goes ahead with the Bill in the Rajya Sabha,” Sangma told reporters in Shillong on Tuesday. “We have met several leaders cutting across party lines at the national Capital and had sought their support not to vote in favour of the bill if it is brought in the Rajya Sabha. We are also in touch with leaders of the Samajwadi Party and the Bahujan Samaj Party on the matter.”
Sangma and the chief ministers of the other northeastern states had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Sunday. After the meeting, Sangma told reporters that the delegation had received “a very, very positive response from the home minister”, who reportedly “mentioned that he is taking the sentiments of the people of the North East into consideration”.
Sangma said on Tuesday that his party and other regional outfits are against the proposed law “as it will change the demography of the region”, IANS reported. The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 to grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from the Muslim-majority nations of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan if they have lived in India for six years. The Lok Sabha passed the draft law in January.