Meghalaya BJP legislator Sanbor Shullai has urged President Ram Nath Kovind to exempt the state from the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) based on provisions of Article 244 of the Constitution.
After meeting governor Tatagatha Roy at the Raj Bhavan in Shillong on Tuesday evening, Shullai told reporters that his letter concerning the CAB was submitted to the President through the governor on the need to exempt Meghalaya from its purview.
Shullai mentioned a special provision in Article 244 under paragraph 12A (b) of the Sixth Schedule of the constitution, which states that the President may with respect to any act of Parliament by notification direct that it shall not apply to an autonomous district or an autonomous region in the state of Meghalaya.
Shullai also said that scheduled area can be also exempted on the basis of reservation of such state under the provision of the 95th amendment of the 2009 Act which provides for the whole of Meghalaya under the reservation of Scheduled Tribe as both Lok Sabha seats in the state are reserved for Scheduled Tribes.
The BJP legislator also said that Indian citizenship should not be granted to any foreigner without the consent of the state.
“The migration of people like in Pakistan and Afghanistan was mostly due to religious persecution. However, the issue concerning illegal immigrants from Bangladesh cannot be identified on the basis of religion as there is large scale influx in search of jobs rather than religious persecution which is the prime motive for granting of citizenship as stated in the CAB. The bill may be misused for granting of citizenship as it is difficult to identity people in the name of religion,” Shullai added.
Shullai also said people and several organisations in the Northeast have opposed the Bill as it will nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985 which fixed March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for deportation of all illegal immigrants irrespective of religion.
Further, Shullai said as the modified version proposed to tweak the CAB so that it will not override the Bengal Eastern Frontier regulation of 1873 under which Indian nationals have to obtain an Inner Line Permit to enter Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram, the ILP system can be also introduced in the entire North East to solve the problem of influx in all these states