Arunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on July 9 said that the frontier state is totally opposed to the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
“We are totally against the Citizenship Amendment Bill. If this bill, which is a matter of concern for all Northeastern states, is brought to the parliament again, we will constitute a forum of all Northeast CMs and go to Delhi,” said Khandu, while replying to a supplementary question on CAB raised by Congress MLA Ninong Ering during question hour on the second day of the three-day assembly session at Itanagar.
He also said that it was apprised to the then home minister that even if the Centre implements the bill in total, it will dilute the identity of NE people.
Informing the house that immediately after the CAB was passed in the Lok Sabha, Khandu said he along with his Manipur counterpart N Biren Singh rushed to Delhi and met the then union home minister Rajnath Singh to exempt Northeast, including Arunachal Pradesh, from the purview of CAB.
Replying to another supplementary question raised by NPP legislature party leader Mutchu Mithi whether the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system will be compromised in case the bill is passed by the Centre, the CM said that people of Arunachal Pradesh are protected under the provisions of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation (BEFR), 1873, and added that the ILP regime in the state needs to be strengthened further.
The incumbent Union home minister and BJP national president Amit Shah during the recent electioneering had vowed that the CAB will be brought back in the parliament by the BJP if it comes to power at the Centre.
The NE region had witnessed series of protests over the contentious CAB after it was introduced and passed in the lower house of the parliament on January 8 last.
The CAB seeks to facilitate acquisition of citizenship by six identified minority communities – Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Christians and Parsis from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh who came to India before December 31, 2014.
However, the bill could not be taken up in the Rajya Sabha following widespread protest in NE and subsequently, got lapsed.