SHILLONG, May 08: Just a day ahead of the visit by the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, Meghalaya government has decided to say a resolute ‘No’ to the bill proposed by the Centre to make illegal migrants belonging to six communities eligible for citizenship of India.
The six-party Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government led by the National People’s Party (NPP) unanimously decided to disapprove of the Bill at a Cabinet meeting chaired by the Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma here on Tuesday.
Mentionably, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 will visit Meghalaya on Thursday to solicit views from the state government and stakeholders.
The Bill was introduced by Centre in Lok Sabha in July 2016 to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who belong to six communities viz Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship of India.
“The Cabinet has decided to say no to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 proposed by the Centre after taken into consideration and detailed discussion on the draft Bill,” Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong told reporters after the meeting.
He added that the Cabinet has decided to oppose the Bill as it does not serve the purpose of the people in Meghalaya being a small tribal state.
He also pointed out that the Bill is “dangerous”, taking into consideration Meghalaya and the North East region is bounded by Bangladesh, Nepal, China, and Myanmar.
“This looks dangerous as a Christian or a Hindu once they are here in 6 years time they can become a citizen of India,” he said.
The deputy chief minister further informed that the stand of the Cabinet will be officially communicated to the Centre through the Joint Parliamentary Committee, which will be visiting the state for two days from May 10.