Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma
Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma

Guwahati: Expressing his apprehensions over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday appealed to Union Home Minister Amit Shah to take the northeastern states and its people in confidence if a decision was taken on the controversial legislation.

Sangma made the remarks while addressing the fourth North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) conclave here. "The northeastern states are apprehensive of the Bill. The recent updation of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam which have left out over 19 lakh people have compounded our fear. Will these excluded people come to my state because I am in the border?" asked Sangma.

"This is not the problem of my state alone. All the northeastern states are concerned about the NRC as well as the Bill." The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, popularly known as CAB, is a controversial Bill that seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslim communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who had entered India due to religious persecution.

Although the Bill has not passed in Parliament, the Bharatiya Janata Party leadership has made it clear that the Centre will make some amendments to ensure that its implementation does not affect anyone. In the Conclave, Mizoram and Nagaland Chief Ministers Zoramthanga and Neiphu Rio also made similar appeals to the Home Minister.

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