Conrad: Passing of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 unfortunate

SHILLONG, Jan 9: Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma on Wednesday said that the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was “unfortunate”.

Conrad said that the Meghalaya Cabinet had expressed its “concerns” about the amendment bill and had passed a resolution last year, “…before anyone else spoke out against it.”

“So we have clearly expressed our reservations and concerns about this and it is an issue we don’t support at all,” the Meghlaya Chief Minister added.

On the future action that the government is to take, after the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on December 8, Conrad said that the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance coalition is a conglomeration of different political parties and it will take a call on how to move forward.

It may be mentioned that in May last year, the MDA government decided to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, proposed by the Centre to make migrants of six communities eligible for citizenship of India.

A key amendment in the bill seeks to grant citizenship to people without valid documents from minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India.

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