NPP will quit NDA if Rajya Sabha passes Citizenship Bill, says Meghalaya CM
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NPP will quit NDA if Rajya Sabha passes Citizenship Bill, says Meghalaya CM

Conrad Sangma’s threat to quit the NDA came on a day when Prime Minister Narendra Modi sought to assure people of the Northeast that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill would not endanger them in any way.

india Updated: Feb 10, 2019 08:37 IST
David Laitphlang
David Laitphlang
Hindustan Times, Shillong
Meghalaya,NPP,Meghalaya CM
Meghalaya Chief Minister and National People’s Party (NPP) president Conrad Sangma has been voicing his opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. (PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s assurance on Saturday that the people of north-eastern states would not be disadvantaged by the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill failed to cut ice with Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma who threatened to pull his National People’s Party out of the BJP-led NDA if the Rajya Sabha passes the Bill which aims to grant citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

“The party has adopted a resolution to oppose the CAB which will be submitted to the Government of India. The party has also decided that if this bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha NPP will break away from NDA,” said Sangma who is also the president of the NPP. The BJP which has two seats the Meghalaya assembly is the junior partner in the government.

The decision was taken at the national general body meeting of the party where the Bill was discussed at length. Protests have roiled much of the Northeast since December when the Centre made its intentions clear of going ahead with the Bill.

The NPP also decided to contest 24 seats in Northeast in 2019 Lok Sabha election and all 60 seats in State Assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh.

“As a party we are keen to contest all the Lok Sabha seats in the Northeast. We will work out a mechanism and see how we can go forward. We as party want to play a pivotal role in voicing the concerns of the people and provide them a common platform to champion the cause of Northeast,” Sangma said.

Earlier, Sangma was elected unopposed as the national president of the NPP for the second consecutive term. The tenure of the office is for a period of three years till 2022.

Late last month, the NPP was among ten political parties from the Northeast which came together on a joint platform in Guwahati to oppose the controversial Citizenship Bill.

First Published: Feb 10, 2019 08:31 IST