Guwahati: Union home minister Amit Shah said here Monday that the BJP-led NDA government was determined to bring in the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) but it will ensure that it doesn’t override the existing provisions and protections granted to the region’s tribal people.
The CAB seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India instead of 12 years, which is the norm currently.
Referring to the concern expressed by at least two Chief Ministers, of Meghalaya and Mizoram, at the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) conclave here, Mr Shah said the fears of the Chief Ministers was genuine but they need not to worry as the BJP government had decided to keep the cut-off date in the Citizenship Amendment Bill up to December 31, 2014.
Earlier, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma told Mr Shah that the Central government should take the region into confidence on the Citizenship Amendment Bill.
Addressing the conclave here in the presence of Mr Shah, Mr Sangma asked whether the Centre would bypass discussions with states before reintroducing the Bill.
“What will happen after CAB? Will people continuously come from Bangladesh? Will there be any deadline or a continuous flow? We in the Northeast have such fears,” Mr Sangma said. He requested the Centre to invite all stakeholders to discuss the issue....