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NE MPs protest against CAB in Delhi

By Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, Nov 29 - Ahead of the consultation process being initiated by the Centre, the indigenous and tribal MPs belonging to the North-east on Friday demanded that the North Eastern States should be kept out of the ambit of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB).

The MPs today staged a demonstration in front of the Parliament House against the CAB, displaying placards and raising slogans. The placards read �No room for CAB,� �Scrap CAB�, �North East will never ever accept CAB,� etc. The Congress MPs from Assam also participated in the demonstration. The North-east MPs also sought an appointment with the Union Home Minister. The indigenous MPs of the region, including some NDA allies, in a memorandum to the Prime Minister said they would like to express strong objections to the passing of CAB and its implementation in NE.

All premier non-government organisations of the region are also of the same opinion.

�We collectively believe that such a Bill, if implemented uniformly across the nation, will particularly render the indigenous and tribal population of the North-east vulnerable to displacement,� the memorandum said.

�Therefore we urge you to include within this Bill a provision which exempts from its ambit the residents of the North Eastern States of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Sikkim,� the MPs demanded.

During the visit of the members of the Standing Committee in the 16th Lok Sabha to the North-east, people also expressed their views which were in line with the demands being made by the MPs, memorandum said.

Meanwhile, the Home Minister will start his consultation process from tonight when he will meet leaders of political parties and civil society groups from Mizoram and Tripura. He is also separately meeting the Chief Ministers of the NE States.

Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal is meeting the Home Minister tomorrow morning. Sonowal, meanwhile, has said that the consultation initiative is a democratic process and should be welcomed.

On Saturday, Shah will also meet various groups and delegations at Assam House as part of the consultation process. He is also scheduled to meet leaders of political parties over breakfast tomorrow. However, the Assam Congress has decided to boycott the meeting describing the government�s initiative as an �eyewash�.

Tomorrow at 9 am, Shah will meet the leaders of all political parties of Assam and from 12 pm onwards he will meet political leaders of Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya and Nagaland. He will also meet representatives of the Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).

Meanwhile, Ripun Bora told newsmen that he has been invited as president of the Assam Congress along with Congress Legislative Party leader Debobrata Saikia. The Chief Ministers of the region, and representatives of the CSOs have also been invited, he added.

�However, Congress party is going to boycott the meeting because the government has already made up its mind and the meeting with us is only an eyewash. They have a preoccupied mind and we don�t hope to achieve anything,� Bora said.

�We will obstruct CAB and we will fight inside and outside Parliament, but we don�t have the strength to stop the passage of the Bill. It is clear that the government has made up its mind to have the Bill passed and the meeting is just a ploy,� said the Rajya Sabha MP.

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