Conrad Sangma. Image credit - Twitter @SangmaConrad

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma on Wednesday reiterated that the state government is not supporting the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).

Conrad said this after chairing an all-party meeting to discuss and get opinions from various political parties on matters related to the CAB, proposal to amend the Meghalaya Residents Safety and Security (MRSS) Act, 2016 and the Sixth Schedule.

On the government’s stand on the CAB, Conrad said, “The stand has been very clear from day one that the (state) government is not supporting it.”

Also read: Meghalaya: Will not compromise with BJP on CAB, says Tynsong

Representatives from seven political parties attended the all-party meeting.

“All political parties presented their views and opinions and we have requested them to give them in writing,” he said.

He also said the stand of the state government is the stand of different political parties too.

The union home minister has reached out to the state government, political parties and organizations and he has been in consultation to understand issues that are there in the CAB, and the concerns that are there, said Conrad.

“The discussions about how the state government will play a role whether to be bypassed in the verification process, what are the other mechanisms will be put in place to ensure people of the northeastern states including Meghalaya are protected.”

“All these concerns were brought out and it is a consultative process where the MHA has urged us to call this meeting and we have taken the opinions of political parties,” he said.

Whether he would mobilize support against the CAB, the chief minister said Delhi was aware that all political parties in the NE have opposed the CAB.

“Now the government of India is asking us specifically the points that we are opposing in the CAB.”

“So consultation is taking place and that is why political parties are invited so that we can put our heads together to flag our concerns.

“This consultation was missing last time as they just put it in Lok Sabha and passed it. I think it is being handled in a different way this time.

“We are hopeful that from the MHA, they will also come and seek our opinions and from other stakeholders also,” the CM added.

On Congress not in favour of amendment to the MRSS Act, Conrad said while the process of implementing the Act is in different stages, the state also needed to amend it in such a manner to give more teeth to the Act.

On the status of entry-exit points, the CM said, “An entry-exit point at Mendipathar Railway station will also come up and we are hopeful to make it functional at the earliest. The work will speak for itself.”

On Sixth Schedule amendment, the CM said some of the political parties have given their opinions and the main was on the ‘unrepresented tribes’.

“We have already conveyed to everybody that the cabinet has also decided on this and the District Council Affairs minister James K Sangma is in Delhi to convey the same to the Centre,” he added.


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