Passing of Citizenship Bill to cost NDA its NPP ally in Meghalaya

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SHILLONG, Feb 09: The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) at the Centre may see the exit of one of its partners – the National People’s Party (NPP), which leads a coalition government in Meghalaya if the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) is passed by the Rajya Sabha.

The decision was taken by the NPP during its general body meeting held here on Saturday.

The meeting discussed at length the burning issue of – Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 and resolved to sever its ties with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) if the the Bill is passed in the Upper House of the Parliament.

“The party has adopted a resolution to oppose the CAB which will be submitted to the Government of India. The party has also decided that if this bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha NPP will break away from NDA,” said Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma.

Asked whether a similar decision would be taken against the BJP-led governments in North-east, he said, “If the Centre does go ahead and passes the Bill then as leaders of the North-east, we will take our stand to go against any government that does pass the Bill. Obviously it will have its consequences and will see when the time comes but what is important is to know the stand of the NPP. If the Bill is passed in Rajya Sabha, (we) will have no option but to withdraw from the NDA.”

Stating that the NPP will stick to its ideology to fight for the people of the North-east region, Conrad said, “The NPP has never shied away and today we are taking the lead in making sure that this Bill, which is really affecting the people of the region, is not passed.”

Conrad re-elected NPP President

During the meeting, Chief Minister of Meghalaya, Conrad K Sangma was also re-elected unopposed as the national president of the NPP for the second consecutive time. The tenure of the office is for a period of three years, 2019 – 2022.

Conrad took over as a leader of the party following the demise of his father and founder of the NPP, late Purno Agitok Sangma in 2016.

Highlighting the achievements of the party under his leadership, Conrad said that all the leaders who believe in the ideology of late PA Sangma have joined the party adding today the party is in government in four states and is having MLAs in Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Manipur.

“We will continue to strengthen the party and I am sure people of the North-east will understand the need of a platform and a party that will always take up the cause of the people of the region…Therefore, will continue to stick to our ideology and work for the people of North-east and I am sure in coming years people will realize what the NPP stand for and will give support to strengthen the party,” he said.