After Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma threatened to sever ties with the BJP over the passage of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in parliament, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, another BJP partner in the northeast, has expressed his dissatisfaction.
The proposed law that gives citizenship to non-Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan was passed by Lok Sabha on Tuesday amid vigorous dissent by several opposition parties, including the Congress and the Left Front. Most parties from the northeast, even those that were allies of the BJP, have also strongly opposed Bill, saying it is "against the fundamental aspects of the Indian constitution".
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will amend the laws governing citizenship, formed in 1955, to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who fled religious persecution from the three neighbouring countries and entered India before December 31, 2014.
A day-long shutdown was held against the Bill across the northeast yesterday, in which five people were injured. Assam has been witnessing protests since the NDA government said it was going ahead with the controversial bill and Asom Gana Parishad, a regional ally of the BJP, exited the ruling coalition in Assam.
Zoramthanga and his party Mizo National Front (MNF) have opposed the Bill. He even supported yesterday's northeast bandh called by the North East Students' Organisation. He said the Bill is against the principle of secularism and would have adverse affect in the northeast.
Earlier, the all powerful Young Mizo Association (YMA), Mizoram's largest civil society organisation, had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh, informing them of its strong opposition to the Bill.
Conrad Sangma described the passage of the Bill as unfortunate. Asked if the NPP will snap ties with the NDA, the Chief Minister told IANS: "We will see about that and will discuss with all party leaders. As you are aware, our party is present in almost five North Eastern states. Therefore, I will need to call all the party leaders and take a call on this."
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