CM lauds Centre’s concern for NE

SHILLONG: Chief Minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday steered clear of commenting on the Union cabinet’s approval of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, while waxing eloquent on the Centre’s approach on the contentious bill this time around.
Talking to media persons, Conrad said that the bill would have to be seen to ascertain whether it addresses the concerns raised by various groups in the North East.
He said when the bill was introduced last year, there were no discussions and, therefore, the concerns of the people of the North East were not taken into an account.
“After what happened last year there was a different approach this time. The Government of India stared communicating to the state government. I personally met the Union home minister more than four times on this issue and conveyed the concerns of the North East, and Meghalaya specifically”, the chief minister said.
He also said that the Union Home minister has met more than a hundred organisations, 23 from Meghalaya alone, by giving them one hour each to discuss about their concerns.
He said that in the meeting, the government explained how the indigenous people will be protected while the organisations and the state government had placed their views.
“So, therefore, now we will have to see the bill that was passed by the Union cabinet as to how those issues and concerns are being addressed. But I think the most important thing to note here is that the approach to the entire process has been very different and very positive compared to how it was last time”, he said pointing out how the government of India and the Home minister have reached out to different organisations individually writing to each one of them asking them to come.
BJP to wait and watch
BJP leader Sanbor Shullai on Wednesday said that the state has done its part on CAB and now they will wait and see what would the Centre do.
“The matter will be discussed in the Parliament, so let us wait and see now and we cannot say anything at the moment,” he said.
Stating that he had even written to President Ramnath Kovind on CAB, besides Chief Minister Conrad Sangma leading a delegation of political leaders and representatives of various stakeholders to meet and discuss with the Union Home minister, Shullai said, “We have mentioned that Meghalaya is protected under Article 244 A(B) of the Sixth Schedule.”
Reiterating that a few days ago, the chief minister had met the Home minister with other stakeholders and were assured that the ILP and Sixth Schedule areas would be exempted from the purview of the CAB, Shullai said that he hopes that the assurances made will be fulfilled.

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