SHILLONG, Feb 15: Accusing the Congress party of undermining the efforts of numerous political parties to ensure that the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is not passed by the Rajya Sabha, the Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad Sangma has also declined from claiming that he was responsible for the success of these efforts.
“It is inappropriate and really not correct for anybody to say that it was because of me or because of we this has happened as I think that is really undermining the efforts of different organisations who have worked really hard so that this Bill would not come through,” Conrad had said here on Friday.
Conrad was reacting to the recent claim made by the Opposition leader, Dr. Mukul Sangma that had it not been for the Congress-led opposition, the BJP-led NDA government would have introduced and passed the CAB in the Rajya Sabha.
Stating that he is not the kind of person who plays politics with such an important issue, Conrad said, “We all know even within the Congress there are people who are supporting the Bill.”
“I don’t want to get into politics but the point ultimately being that here we all stood together and I have been maintaining from day one that it is a team and joint effort that we found so many political parties and organisations that came together (against CAB),” he said.
Dr. Sangma had also termed the political parties including the National People’s Party (NPP) who are supporting the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) as “wolf in sheep’s clothing” for not daring to pull out of the NDA when the CAB was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.
In this regard, Conrad, who is also the national president of the NPP, said, “We have been very clear in our stand that yes from the development aspect we have to form a coalition and we are working together but when it comes to issues that harm our people, we would never keep quiet and that is exactly what we have been doing.”
“So you found all the regional parties came out openly, we went out to meet and reach out to different political parties at the centre also, therefore I have nothing to say about the comment made by them (Congress) but I don’t know how many times they had gone to meet and tried to work to find support for this and stand against this Bill not even once. So I don’t think it is really fair for them to try to undermine the efforts of others by making such statements. You are simply undermining the effort of all oragnisations and political parties that have done so much to ensure this Bill is not passed when they themselves did not even move to Delhi to oppose this Bill,” he said.
Conrad, who recently led a delegation of eleven political parties to campaign against the Bill in New Delhi, said it is not one person or one party, the political parties had decided to oppose Citizenship Amendment Bill even though they are part of NDA. He was also hailed as the iconic hero of the North East for heading the efforts to stop the bill.
“It was amazing to see the kind of unity that was there that we had student bodies, organisations, NGOs, political parties shoulder to shoulder fighting for this cause. That was really a strong message that I would like to stick to,” he added.