"Talks Positive, But Concerns Remain": Conrad Sangma On Citizenship Bill

Conrad Sangma's National Peoples' Party (NPP) passed a resolution in a party meeting opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill last week

Conrad Sangma's NPP passed resolution opposing Citizenship Amendment Bill

Guwahati:

A key ally of the BJP in the north-east, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma today said that while last week's consultative meeting between the centre and chief ministers, political parties and civil society groups on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill have been a "positive move", the BJP needs to "do a lot more" to address "serious concerns" among its allies in the north-east.

The centre is working to pass the bill in the ongoing winter session of parliament.

Mr Sangma's National Peoples' Party (NPP) passed a resolution in a party meeting opposing the bill last week.

"We are not sure about the actual content of the bill. There have been wide consultations, the Home Minister met no less than a hundred organisations. It was an important, exhaustive consultation," Mr Sangma told NDTV.

"But I think more needs to be done. Some states are facing issues with it (the bill) and it needs to be addressed. It was a positive step to have dialogues. There is much more to be done and we cannot say that all has been done," Mr Sangma said.

Last week, Home Minister Amit Shah held consultations for two days with chief ministers, political parties and civil society groups from the north-east over the bill. There are speculations that the centre may exempt tribal states in the north-east from the bill.

"We have given our suggestion. Home Minister Amit Shah had also told his point of view, but it's slightly not clear yet how this is going to move forward. Let us see how the government plans to move forward and addresses the issues raised in the bill. We have made good process, but a lot of concern still remains," Mr Sangma said.

The Meghalaya government and Mr Sangma's party in its national executive held last week passed a resolution to oppose the bill after several meetings with Amit shah.

"Our state government and our party passed a resolution against the bill since we have not seen the new bill... now depending on how the centre addresses the issues raised in the meetings, we can say how we move forward, but we will discuss again once the bill is tabled," Mr Sangma said.

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