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Amid massive outrage in Northeast, Citizenship bill to be tabled in Rajya Sabha today

Rajya Sabha. Photograph:( WION )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Feb 12, 2019, 09.44 AM (IST)

The Centre is slated to present the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday.

The bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who fled religious persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014.

The Northeast fears the bill will lead to a further influx of Bangladeshi migrants, which is why the opposition to the bill. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha - or lower house of Indian Parliament - in the recently concluded winter session of Parliament, leading to raging protests in the northeastern states.

The Northeast state governments have been opposing the bill since its passage from the lower house of Parliament.

Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has said that his government would leave no stone unturned to constantly protect the rights and privileges of the people.

He further said that the state government, which represents the will and desire of the people, remains opposed to the bill that seeks to remove hurdles for eligible migrants from six minority groups from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan in getting Indian citizenship. 

Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu who had been defending the bill initially changed his stance on Monday.

He along with his Manipur counterpart N Biren Singh met Rajnath Singh in New Delhi on Monday to apprise him about the prevailing situation in their respective states in particular and in the Northeast following the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in the Lok Sabha on January 8.

MNF leader and Chief Minister Zoramthanga has said that the ruling party would not hesitate to snap ties with the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) and BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) if the Bill is passed.

State BJP chief John V Hluna also warned that the state unit of the saffron party would be dissolved if the central leadership goes ahead with the proposed amendment. 

(With inputs from agencies)
 

Story highlights

Passed in the Lok Sabha in January, the bill has caused a massive uproar in the Northeast where the people fear that the bill will lead to a further influx of Bangladeshi migrants.