Amid protests, Rajnath Singh says will soon meet NE CMs
NEWDELHI, 10th Jan: Union home minister Rajnath Singh will soon meet chief ministers of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya to address their concerns over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the minister told the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, as sporadic incidents of violence continued in the northeastern states in protest against the bill.
The bill was tabled in the Rajya Sabha on Wednesday, a day after the Lok Sabha passed the bill amid strong opposition protests.
Singh told the MPs that there were reports of sporadic violence from some parts of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya during a day-long general strike called on Tuesday in protest against the proposed law.
The situation, however, was fully under control and peaceful, he pointed out.
“I assure the House that we are committed to preserve Northeast’s identity and culture...We want a peaceful situation in the Northeast and are in constant touch with the state governments. We will strive to protect the identity and culture of the northeast and will take steps to address all concerns,” Singh said.
The minister said the bill aims to offer Indian citizenship to persecuted religious minorities, such as Hindus and Christians, who have migrated to India from three neighbouring countries.
Early in his address to the House, the minister tried to reach out to the agitated people by saying that he was aware of the concerns and misconceptions over the bill and would like to dispel the apprehensions of the people of Assam and other northeastern states.
“I would like to clarify that this bill is not just for migrants living in Assam,” Singh said. “Nor it is about migration from any one particular country.”
According to him, the bill would “protect migrants of six minority communities from three nations” and apply to the entire country. Singh had similarly assured the Lok Sabha during his speech in the House on Tuesday.
Thousands of migrants from Western borders, the minister said, are residing in states like Gujarat, Rajasthan, Delhi and Madhya Pradesh and the bill is for them too and would be implemented in all states and Union territories.
Earlier, Opposition MPs had raised slogans in the House against the bill.