Congress rejects conditional bill

Decision goes against resolution: Mukul

SHILLONG: Leader of Opposition and former chief minister Mukul Sangma on Wednesday said there was no question of accepting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill while reminding that all stakeholders, including political parties in the state, have opposed it.
Talking to media persons hours after the Union cabinet approved the bill, Mukul said that the stand of all the stakeholders to oppose the bill was collective and which had culminated in a resolution.
Recalling the anti-foreigners’ movement in Assam, Mukul said that with the CAB, the cut-off year of March 24, 1971 for granting of citizenship as enshrined in the Assam accord of 1985 would become redundant.
The bill provides for granting Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who have come from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan up to December 31, 2014 following religious persecution in their respective countries.
Slamming Deputy Chief Minister Prestone Tynsong for his recent statement on CAB, Mukul said that the political parties and other stakeholders have made it very clear that they will not allow CAB with or without any conditions.
“They are twisting and misinterpreting and it is reflective of their intention and now we will have to see as to what is the actual stand of the government,” he said.
Stating that there cannot be two categories of citizens in the county, he added that there is no data as to how many foreigners would be availing citizenship of the country after amendment of the Citizenship Act based on CAB. “How are you going to distribute these foreign nationals. At the time of application, it can be done but what happens next”, he said.
Asking the Centre to listen to the concerns of small ethnic tribes in a democratic setup like India, he hoped that good sense would prevail among the lawmakers in Parliament keeping in mind the concerns of the people in this part of the region.
The opposition chief whip and Congress MLA, PT Sawkmie, said that the BJP MLAs in the MDA government should oppose the CAB. “The two BJP MLAs should make clear their stand on the matter and reject the decision of the Centre”, Sawkmie said.

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