The bill seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims who had fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014, after six years of residence in the country.
Tripura Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb claimed on Wednesday that the citizenship bill had not put the BJP on the back foot in the Northeast. Deb accused some organisations “with no support base” of portraying the Northeast as a troubled region for personal gains. “The claims that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has caused trouble in the region and has put the BJP on the back foot is completely false and baseless. Had this been the truth, the BJP would not have won autonomous council elections in Assam,” the saffron party leader said.
The Bharatiya Janata Party had won 19 of the 28 seats in the North Cachar Hills Autonomous Council, where elections were held on January 19 amid protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019. “The victory in the election means people are with us,” the chief minister said.
The bill seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims who had fled religious persecution in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan and entered India before December 31, 2014, after six years of residence in the country. The bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha earlier this month, has triggered protests across the region.
Asked about political and social outfits protesting against the bill, Deb said, “The organisations that don’t have any base in the region want to portray the northeastern states as a disturbed territory. But we will not allow it to happen.”
To a query whether he would implement the bill in Tripura, Deb said, “The state of Tripura is a part of India and we are part of the federal structure. This bill is applicable to all the states of the country.” Asked about BJP allies in the Northeast objecting to the bill, the chief minister declined any comment, saying every political party had its own policy and agenda. The BJP will win more than 20 out of the 25 Lok Sabha seats in the region and over 300 seats across the country to form the next government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi again, he asserted.