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Decision only after talks with all stakeholders: Centre

CITIZENSHIP BILL

Our Correspondent
NEW DELHI, May 30: As far as any further step regarding the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 vis-à-vis Assam is concerned, the Centre will go ahead only after holding consultation with all stakeholders. This apart, all efforts will be made to address the concerns of the people of the State in this regard. Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, while agreeing to the request of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, conveyed this decision of the Union Government during a meeting in New Delhi today. The meeting was held to discuss various administrative and security arrangements related to the NRC update exercise as per the orders of the Supreme Court.

Sonowal, during the discussion, also requested the Union Home Minister to set up a committee to make recommendations for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord which provides for constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people. The Union Home Minister assured the Chief Minister that the committee will be set up at the earliest in consultation with the State Government.

The meeting, chaired by Singh, also discussed the arrangements required to dispose of claims and objections after the publication of draft NRC. Sonowal, during the discussion, emphasized that adequate opportunity is given to people in this regard, necessary arrangements are made to avoid any inconvenience to the public, and all claims and objections are disposed of as per law and in a proper manner.

Later talking to mediapersons after the meeting, Sonowal said the NRC update process is going on smoothly in the State under the guidance of the apex court and it is on the verge of completion. He stated that both Central and State governments are extending full support for the seamless progress of the NRC update exercise and the second draft will be published on June 30.
Regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the Chief Minister said that the Central Government would take the people of the State into full confidence and hold consultations with all organizations before taking any further step in this regard.

The meeting was also attended by Union Home Secretary Rajeev Gauba, Chief Secretary of Government of Assam TY Das, DGP, Assam Kuladhar Saikia and other senior officers of the Government of India and the Government of Assam.

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Ankur Kalita

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