‘Will not alter Article 371 in any way’: Amit Shah assures Northeast

Most of the States that have been accorded special provisions under Article 371 are in the northeast and the special status aims to preserve their tribal culture.

Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who is in Assam for the first time since the release of NRC final citizens’ list, on Sunday assured the people of the state that the BJP “will not alter Article 371” in any way.

“Article 371 of the Indian Constitution is a special provision. The BJP government respects Article 371 and will not alter it in any way,” said the Home Minister in Guwahati.

Ever since the Central government moved a Presidential order on August 5 scrapping Article 370, which gave Jammu and Kashmir its special powers, and divided the state into two Union Territories, Article 371, which has special provisions for other States, mostly from the Northeast, has invited some attention.

Most of the States that have been accorded special provisions under Article 371 are in the northeast and the special status aims to preserve their tribal culture.

Article 371B deals with special provision with respect to the state of Assam.

There is already churning in Assam as around 1.9 million people in the state found themselves excluded from the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) that was published last week. The move aimed at ending a four-decade long movement against the presence of illegal immigrants.

The BJP, the ruling party in Assam, too, opposed the NRC, saying genuine Indians had been left out while illegal immigrants had made it to the list because of “anomalies”.

Last month, RN Ravi, who took charge as Nagaland’s new governor, assured the people of the state not to worry about removal of Article 371 (A) following developments related to Jammu and Kashmir after the Centre scrapped Article 370.

Allaying “apprehensions”, the governor, who was the Centre’s interlocutor for the Naga peace process, told the people that they “don’t have to worry at all”.

Source: Hindustan Times

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