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Ten political parties in Northeast oppose Citizenship Bill


New Delhi, Jan 29: Ten political parties from the Northeast, including its current and former allies came together on a joint platform in Guwahati on Tuesday to oppose the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

Photo credit: PTI

A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the political parties convened by Sangma and AGP President Atul Bora here.

The parties include Asom Gana Parishad, National Peoples Party, Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura, Naga Peoples Front, Mizo National Front and Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party, all of which are anti-Congress.

The parties, several belonging to the BJP-led North East Democratic Alliance resolved to oppose the Bill together "in the interest of the people of northeast".

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Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, the convener of the convention, said the parties will send a delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Ram Nath Kovind seeking a scrapping of the Bill which will "endanger the lives and identity of the indigenous people".

"The meeting was a natural process, considering the opposition of the northeast states to the bill and it is not politically motivated," Sangma told reporters here.

"Most political parties in the region were protesting against the bill in their own states and so we decided to come together and discuss measures to protect our people and the region," he added.

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga, who was also present at the meeting, said that a resolution was taken to unanimously oppose the bill which was "dangerous and harmful for the people of the northeast."

AGP President Atul Bora said that the meeting was "historic" as political parties have unanimously decided to oppose the bill and ensure that it is not passed in the Rajya Sabha.

The bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha earlier this month, has been an issue of concern in Northeast and triggered protests across the region.

The Bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan has led to fears in the Northeast about an influx of illegal immigrants to the region.

The Bill has already been passed in Lok Sabha and is expected to come for voting in the Rajya Sabha in the Budget session beginning January 31.

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