Will discuss Citizenship Bill with parties, civil society groups: Rajnath Singh

Shillong: Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday said that he would discuss the draft Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 with other political parties and civil society groups.

Singh told Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma and senior political leaders from the northeastern states who met him to discuss the controversial Bill which has rocked the northeastern states.

The Meghalaya Chief Minister was accompanied by Deputy Chief Minister, Prestone Tynosng, Asom Gana Parishad leaders among others.

“The Home Minister told us that he would discuss the draft law with other political parties and civil society organisations. I think it is a very positive indication and now everything will move forward only after detailed consultation with everyone,” Sangma said.

In a video-taped statement issued here, the Chief Minister said the Home Minister mentioned that he is taking the sentiments of the people of the North East into consideration.

“We will try our best to ensure that the government does not go ahead with this Bill, and our opposition and our work will continue,” Sangma said.

Meanwhile, leaders of North East Students’s Organisation, which is spearheading the protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill across the northeastern states, called on Chief Minister Sangma , leaders of Biju Janata Dal, Janata Dal United and leaders of regional political parties from the northeastern states urging them to vote against the Bill if tabled in the Rajya Sabha.

The Bill which was already passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8 seeks to remove hurdles for eligible migrants from six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan from getting Indian citizenship.