Union Minister for Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju on Friday said that the basic concerns of the indigenous people from the Northeastern states on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, are being addressed by the government.
Rijiju's statement is significant in the wake of the strong opposition by several civil society groups and political parties against the proposed amendment of the Citizenship Act, 1955 that seeks to provide Indian nationality to Hindus, Christians, Sikhs, Parsis, Jains and Buddhists fleeing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.
"The Home Minister (Amit Shah) himself has heard the views of various groups of the northeastern region and the basic concerns of the indigenous people of the region are being addressed and being considered," Rijiju told journalists.
"When the Bill finally comes for discussions in the Parliament it will become very clear that the indigenous people of Northeast are well protected and are well given all kind of support by the government of India. Therefore, there is nothing to worry for the indigenous people of the northeastern region," he added.
The Bill will be introduced in the Parliament on December 11 after the Union Cabinet gave its nod to the Bill on Wednesday. The cabinet approval came after Shah held consultative meetings with the chief ministers of northeastern states, leaders of different political parties and civil society groups and other stakeholders in New Delhi.