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PM Modi allays fears about citizenship bill

PM Modi allays fears about citizenship bill
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On a whirlwind tour of the Northeast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed rallies in three states, assuring that the citizenship bill...

Changsari/Agartala: On a whirlwind tour of the Northeast, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed rallies in three states, assuring that the citizenship bill won't harm the interests of the people of the region but will provide succour to those who have "embraced the idea and ethos of Mother India".

Visiting the northeast for the first time after the bill was passed by Lok Sabha on January 8, Modi crisscrossed Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and Tripura during the day and unveiled several projects. Though Modi sought to assuage fears in Assam and the northeast over the bill, in Meghalaya BJP's coalition partner National Peoples Party (NPP) threatened to quit the NDA if the proposed legislation is passed in Rajya Sabha.

At a meeting of party leaders of four northeastern states, the NPP adopted a resolution to oppose the bill and break its ties with the NDA if it is passed," NPP president and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said.

Addressing a rally at Changsari in the assembly constituency of Assam Health minister and BJP-led NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma, Modi said, "It is a national commitment to the people of the Northeast that they will not be harmed in any way and citizenship will be only granted after due investigations and recommendations of the state governments."

It must be understood that there is a difference between those who forcefully entered the country and those who were "forced to flee their homes to save their lives due to their religion. Both are not the same", he said.

"We are committed to providing shelter to those minorities - Hindus, Christians, Parsis, Jains and Sikhs- in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who had to leave everything due to atrocities inflicted on them. They have come to our country and have embraced the idea and ethos of Mother India," the prime minister added.

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