Meghalaya BJP urges Shah to exclude state from CAB's purview

Shillong, Nov 22 (PTI) The Meghalaya unit of the BJPhas urged Union Home Minister Amit Shah to exclude the statefrom the purview of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019,that is proposed to be tabled during the Winter session of theParliament.

In a letter to Shah on Thursday, state BJP generalsecretary Bashailang Khongwir urged him to uphold the specialprovisions of the indigenous people of Meghalaya.

'The tribals of Meghalaya, like in other states,deserve due protection. Placing Meghalaya in line with otherbig and progressive states of the nation, where the CAB isexpected to serve the greater interest of humanity, is not inthe spirit of the BJP party,' he said.

The BJP, with two MLAs in the state Assembly, is partof the ruling Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) governmentled by National People's Party president Conrad K Sangma andsupported by regional parties.

Khongwir said there are speculations that Nagaland,Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram may be exempted from the CAB.

'The proposal to implement the CAB in Meghalaya whileexempting other northeastern states that have the Inner LinePermit (ILP) is not a good gesture and carries the message ofdividing the tribal communities in the region,' he said.

The BJP leader said the tribal communities inMeghalaya are not different from their counterparts inNagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram in terms of progressand economic growth and have a similar demographic profile.

The ruling MDA government in Meghalaya had earlierpassed a resolution opposing implementation of the CAB in thestate without consulting stakeholders and addressing concernsof the people over the Bill's fallout.

Chief Minister Sangma, however, expressed hope theCentre will address the concerns of the people over the Bill.

'We are looking for a positive response (from theCentre) to address the concerns,' he had said last week.

The CAB seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus,Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians who fledreligious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistanand entered India before December 31, 2014. PTI JOPACD ACD