Will oppose if CAB goes against Meghalaya people: Conrad

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Meghalaya CM indicates visit of Amit Shah to Meghalaya

HT Bureau

SHILLONG, Nov 19: Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has maintained a mysterious silence on the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is likely to be introduced in the ongoing winter session of the parliament, even as his Meghalaya counterpart Conrad K Sangma vowed to oppose it if the new form of the bill goes against the interest of Meghalaya people.

The people of Assam waited till the last moment for their chief minister to speak up against the CAB. And when Sonowal did speak, it was in line with the tone of Delhi and against the demands of the people.

Notably, Conrad Sangma took the lead in opposing the CAB, along with his Mizoram counterpart Zoramthanga and later supported by the chief ministers Manipur, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh CMs.

A day after the north-eastern states witnessed protest against the CAB, Sangma Tuesday said discussions were taking place to address concerns of the people about the legislation.

Sangma said the state government is looking for a “positive response” from the Centre to address the issues raised by the people.

“Right now, there are a lot of discussions and consultations taking place. We have been asked about the issues and how these can be addressed,” Sangma said.

“Our stand is very clear on the issue. If there is anything that is against the people of the state and the region as a whole, we will always stand against it,” the chief minister said.

“I have already met Union home minister Amit Shah twice on this issue and expressed my concerns over it. The home minister and other government officials will also discuss the issue with different groups and organisations,” Sangma said.

He said that he had also requested Shah to come to Shillong and visit other northeastern states and meet different political parties and other stakeholders. The chief minister indicated that Shah will visit Meghalaya shortly to attend an official programme of inauguration of a police training centre.

The state government will inform all the political parties and stakeholders to come and discuss with the Union home minister Amit Shah on the issue CAB as and when he visits and the meeting is finalised, he said.

Meghalaya deputy chief Minister Prestone Tynsong is hopeful that CAB will not be reintroduced in the Parliament until discussions are held with the political parties of the state and the various stakeholders.

Sangma and Tynsong had met Shah and urged him to withhold the CAB in its current form.

Last year, the Meghalaya government had passed a resolution to oppose the CAB in its current form, he said, adding there is “no need for another resolution against the CAB”. The bill is proposed to be introduced in the current winter session of Parliament, which began on Monday.


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