Centre has addressed concerns of people over CAB: Conrad

SHILLONG: The NPP-led MDA Government which was opposing Citizenship Amendment Bill tooth and nail, took a U turn on Tuesday on its stand by claiming that the Central Government has addressed the major concerns of the state which it had towards the CAB.

Talking to media persons after an emergent Cabinet meeting here on Tuesday, Chief Minister, Conrad Sangma said that the Government at that point was apprehending that infiltration could take place in Meghalaya due to CAB and once amendments were made in the Bill, it was made clear by the Union Home Ministry that the cut-off date for the CAB is 2014 which means there is no question of any future impact on the demography in the region.

Stating that the Central Government has now put many provisions in the Bill like it will not be applicable in ILP and Sixth Schedule areas, he added that even the application of the people who would apply for citizenship under the provision of the Bill would have to be first approved by the State Government.

According to Sangma, once these provisions were made in the Bill, the Government felt that the concerns of the region have been seriously addressed by the Centre and they have included provisions which will insulate a large part of the North East.

“So we feel that that the Government has done its part in addressing a lot of concerns and in that line, Agatha Sangma supported the Bill.

However, Chief Minister, maintained that the struggle of the North Eastern states including Meghalaya is still on and the Government would immediately approach the Meghalaya Governor to clear the Meghalaya Residents’ Safety and Security Act.

In addition, the Cabinet   has also decided to meet the Union Home Minister to urge him to have more strong measures like ILP and others in place so that more protection can be given to the tribes of the state.

When asked if the Government is taking a U turn, he said that the this is not a U turn and Government would discuss about implementing ILP and full exemption of Meghalaya from the CAB when they meet the Union Home Minister soon.

Reacting to a query, he also said that people had been emotional on the issue and even as he assured that there would be hardly 2-3 families who would come to Meghalaya after the implementation of CAB.

He also said that people should look into the facts as the Union Government has addressed the concerns of the state which it had towards the CAB.

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