Union Minister Ramdas Athawale on Monday said the Narendra Modi government should reconsider introducing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament again as it is connected with the sentiments of the people of the northeast region. Athawale's remarks came a day after BJP president Amit Shah announced in Assam that the party will reintroduce the bill in Parliament if voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Addressing reporters here, Athawale said, "We should think about the sentiments of the people of the northeast region." "We should and reconsider introducing the bill again because the sentiments of the people of the northeast are also very important and that is the stand of my party (Republican Party of India - Athawale)," he said.
"If the people of the northeast are opposing the bill, definitely as a member of the NDA, I can discuss with the prime minister if any changes can be made to it," the minister of state (MoS) for social justice and empowerment added. Athawale said his party supported the bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha during the Winter session of Parliament, as a member of the NDA.
He expressed confidence that the NDA will return to power after the Lok Sabha elections. "Modi is a clean prime minister and the present government is also clean," Athawale, who is in Nagaland to officially launch his party in the state on Tuesday, said.
He claimed that the present government had been sincerely working towards the welfare of the country's people. Athawale was supposed to distribute assisted devices and appliances for the empowerment of persons with disabilities and senior citizens in Mon district on Monday but was unable to make it due to bad weather conditions, officials said.
(With inputs from agencies.)