Citizenship Amendment Bill will change demography of NE: Rio

Citizenship Amendment Bill will change demography of NE: Rio
Rio, Zoramthanga and Sangma during the 4th Conclave of NEDA in Guwahati Monday. (PTI)
GUWAHATI, SEP 9 (IANS) | Publish Date: 9/9/2019 10:11:01 AM IST

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Monday said the “highly controversial” Citizenship Amendment Bill will change the demography of Northeast, if it is implemented by the Centre. Strongly opposing the bill in the presence of Union Home Minister Amit Shah at the 4th NEDA conclave here, Rio said all the NE states had resolved earlier that they would not let the legislation affect the region. “We believe it will change the demography of the North East. We need to understand the ground situation,” Rio said. He hoped that Shah and the Centre would “listen to us”.

Rio also said the negotiations on Naga Peace accord were at an advanced stage. “We are hopeful of a solution very soon. We have also formed a joint legislation group,” he added. 

Rio also sought support of all the states of the region to amicably settle the Nagaland issue as it was the “mother of all issues in the Northeast”.

Meanwhile, Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Monday told Union Home Minster Amit Shah that the Northeast has fears on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and urged him to take all the states of the region into confidence before bringing in the legislation again.
Sangma questioned whether the Centre will bypass discussions with the 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 Northeast have such fears,” Sangma said. He requested the Centre to invite all stakeholders to discuss and arrive at a consensus over the issue.
Requesting Union Home Minister Amit Shah to exclude the Northeast from the purview of CAB, Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Monday said that all political parties that supported the contentious bill are on the “verge of suicide”.
“If at all, it (the bill) has to be implemented, then please see if the Northeast can be excluded from it. I request you to look into the vulnerability of the region.
“The Citizenship Bill is a very very sensitive issue here. In most of the states where political parties supported it, they are on the verge of suicide,” he said.
The Mizoram chief minister said, he has full faith in the present dispensation at the Centre and he believes that it will not take a decision that will adversely affect the interests of the region.

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