In a shift from its stand on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday said that the party is ready to reconsider the Bill if all the stakeholders in the northeastern states are consulted.
“The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in its current form is not acceptable to us. But I am optimistic that there could be a middle way and if there is a way we can discuss. However, all the stakeholdes of the region must be consulted over this,” said Sangma while addressing a gathering here on Wednesday.
Sangma was in Guwahati to inaugurate the National Peoples’ Party’s (NPP) Assam office. The occasion also coincided with completion of the one year of National Peoples’ Party (NPP) led Meghalaya Peoples’ Alliance (MPA) government in Meghalaya.
“Our government is working with the BJP led National Democratic Alliance (NDA). We are very clear as far as governance is concerned. We are working with NDA but there is no question of compromise on any issue concerning the Northeast. If there is a situation and it demands, we are ready to stand up and take a stand for the people of the Northeast region,” Sangma said.
He said that the Delhi often does not listen to the voice of the people from Northeast and added that the people of the region needs to be united to make their voices listened in Delhi.
“The Central government wanted to bring the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016. Nothing happened when each one was opposing and raising their voice separately. However, it failed when all the people, organization and political parties came together and raised the voice against the Bill unitedly,” he said.
Recalling his father Late PA Sangma, Conrad said that Late PA Sangma always vouched for unity of the northeastrn people so that the region’s voice can be made heard in New Delhi. “The NPP is a step taken by Late PA Sangma in this regard and he is only taking it further,” Sangma said.