Twelve non-BJP MPs on Friday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to exclude the northeastern states from the purview of the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB ), saying if it comes into effect, the tribal population of the region will be vulnerable to displacement.
The MPs, most of them belonging to the Congress and from the northeast, said civil society organisations of the region are also opposing the bill.
“We collectively believe if such a Bill is implemented uniformly across the nation, it will particularly render the indigenous and tribal population of the northeast vulnerable to displacement,” the letter signed by the 12 members of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha said.
Shillong MP Vincent H. Pala, who took the initiative to write the letter, told PTI they felt that it was their moral duty to convey the sentiment of the people of the region to the Prime Minister.
MP from Barpeta (Assam) Abdul Khaleque, another signatory of the letter, said the people in the northeast have strong reservations about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and hence have been protesting strongly.
“We the undersigned as members of Parliament representing the indigenous tribes of the northeastern region would like to express our strong objection to the passing and implementation of CAB in our region,” the letter said.
Among those who signed the letter include former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister and Rajya Sabha member Mukut Mithi and Assam’s Nagaon MP Pradyut Bordoloi.
Pala said those who signed the letter are MPs from Assam, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Sikkim.
BJP MPs from the Northeast — around 15 — did not sign the letter.
BJP MP from Manipur Rajkumar Ranjan Singh had, however, requested the home ministry to exempt the northeastern state from the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Speaking during the Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha on Thursday, the BJP MP said, “There is a lot of hue and cry in my state of Manipur. People are apprehensive of this new citizenship law. They believe that if this new law is enacted, there will be huge influx of migrants in the state.”
Union home minister Amit Shah is holding a series of meetings with chief ministers, political leaders and civil society members beginning Friday to discuss issues related to the Bill.