Himanta Biswa Sarma, the minister from Assam, on Saturday said a consensus had been reached in the meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah that efforts will be made to accommodate north-east specific grievances in the new draft of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
"Home Minister Amit Shah took a 7-hour long meeting yesterday. He also sat with us for over 5 hours today. A consensus has emerged that efforts will be made to accommodate the north-east specific grievances in the new draft," Sarma told ANI.
The minister, however, clarified that only the Union Cabinet will now decide what needs to be accommodated in the draft.
"No one supported the previous draft. However, leaders have agreed that if their grievances are accommodated in the new draft, they will not have any reason to oppose it," Sarma said.
"Without compromising the basic character of the CAB, there will be a genuine effort to accommodate the concern raised by the northeastern region," Sarma added.
Amit Shah is discussing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill with members of political parties and civil society organisations from northeastern states. The Union Home Minister met leaders on Friday and Saturday while the third meeting is slated for December 3.
Shah had, in the Rajya Sabha, said that the Citizenship (Amendment) bill is needed so that Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Jain, Christian and Parsi refugees, who are being discriminated on the basis of religion in Pakistan, Bangladesh or Afghanistan, obtain Indian citizenship.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8 this year, aims at granting citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who came to India before December 31, 2014.
(With inputs from ANI)