Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from the Shillong parliamentary seat Sanbor Shullai said that he will commit suicide before PM Narendra Modi but will not let Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to be implemented in Meghalaya and other northeastern states and added that the Bill needs to be amended.
The former Deputy Speaker of Meghalaya Assembly gave this statement after casting his vote and said he has no problem if the Bill is implemented in other parts of the country.
“I would rather kill myself than allow the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to be implemented in the northeastern states. I had earlier submitted a letter to PM Modi, BJP central leadership and NGOs that Meghalaya and northeastern states should be exempted from the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill,” he added.
In its poll manifesto, the BJP has promised to enact the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill if it comes to power at the Centre.
Addressing a rally in Silchar PM Modi had said that his government is committed to implementing the Bill after holding consultations with all sections of the society and taking the views of the people in the state.
Massive protests were witnessed in the northeastern states when the Centre decided to bring the Bill in the parliament. The BJP is in power in Assam, Manipur, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh and has formed the government in Meghalaya and Nagaland by stitching up a mega alliance of regional parties; however, it ignored the protests and went ahead with tabling the Bill in Rajya Sabha.
This came after some of the alliance partners like National People’s Party (NPP) in Meghalaya and Mizo National Front of Mizoram indicated about breaking ties with the BJP if the Bill is made into a law.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 if passed will provide citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who left their home countries fearing prosecution.
Blaming the Congress PM Narendra Modi-led BJP government had said that minorities in Pakistan and Bangladesh who were facing religious persecution had turned foreigners in their own homeland.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh has also assured that the burden of the migrants will be shared by the entire country and not just the northeastern states and added that all the required help will be provided by the government to make the entire process smooth.
Assam Finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has repeatedly made a strong pitch for the citizenship bill. He had earlier said that people who are opposing the Bill are against the culture and civilization of Assam and added that he won’t allow Assam to become another Kashmir.
He also said that Hindus in the state will become a minority in five years if the bill is not passed, and added that it will provide a favourable atmosphere to certain elements who want Assam to be another Kashmir.
Organisations from all over the northeastern states including the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) organised massive protests against the Bill in different parts of the region and also received support from different civil society organisations and intellectuals.