*NESO reiterates its opposition
ITANAGAR, Jan 29: Political parties of NE India against Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 (CAB) during a meeting here on Tuesday, after discussing the Bill and its fall out unanimously decided to oppose it.
The meeting, convened and chaired by Meghalaya Chief Minister-cum-National People’s Party president Conrad Sangma along with Assam’s biggest regional party of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), created flutter amongst BJP leaders as most of these political parties are constituents of North Eastern Democratic Alliance (NEDA), NPP spokesman-cum-vice president Nima Sange Saling informed this daily over telephone after the meeting.
Other resolutions included: Unanimously decided that a delegation of all participating NE political parties along with other parties supporting the cause would meet and apprise President and Prime of India in next few days; if the GoI fails to respond to call of the people and presses ahead with the bill, the opposition to the bill would continue; future course of action to be chalked out soon; expected support of political parties across the country opposing the Bill in the Parliament and a committee to be formed to reach out to different parties across the India to seek support.
These resolutions hold significance with protest over the CAB reaching alarming proportions in NE bordering alienation from NEDA, particularly when the BJP is trying to convince the constituents as the fate of CAB, passed by Lok Sabha on January 8 last, still hangs in balance as yet to be tabled in Rajya Sabha, where BJP lacks majority. It may be mentioned here that Sangma and Zoramthanga along with a delegation of seven North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) members had met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and urged him to reconsider the position of the Bill. Singh, however, had assured that a meeting will be held involving all NE leaders to discuss the Bill.
Others who took part in the meeting were Mizoram CM Zoramthanga, AGP president Atul Bora, former Assam chief minister Prafula Kumar Mahanta, former Nagaland CM TR Zeliang, Manipur DyCM Joykumar Singh, Meghalaya DyCM Prestone Tynsong, Meghalaya HM James K Sangma, Arunachal Pradesh MLA Mutchu Minthi & Tirong Aboh, state NPP president Gicho Kabak, NE lawmakers, leaders of JDU, NPF, NPP, NDPP & HSPDP.
Meanwhile, expressing its concern against the Bill, the AAPSU in a letter to state’s Rajya Sbaha member Mukut Mithi on Tuesday sought his support to ensure its rejection in Rajya Sabha.
Terming the Bill unconstitutional, anti-tribal & anti-NE, it said that Arunachal Pradesh is already plagued by Chakma-Hajong refugee imbroglio since past 50 years and there is every possibility that the refugees, particularly Chakmas predominantly Buddhists and Hajongs practice Hinduism, living in our state taking advantage of this Bill. Thus, the AAPSU exhorted him to pursue people concerned in Arunachal Pradesh, other political parties and the GoI when the Bill is tabled in Rajya Sabha.
The Bill, intends to confer citizenship to Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Sikh, Jain & Parsi illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan & Pakistan who have lived for six years in India instead of 11 years as per Citizenship Act, 1955, was passed by Lok Sabha despite serious opposition from people across the NE. Moreover, the AAPSU under the aegis of NESO along with it all constituent organizations – All Assam Students’ Union, Mizo Zirlai Pawl, Naga Students’ Federation, All Manipur Students’ Union, Twipra Students’ Federation, Khasi Students’ Union & Garo students’ Union have been rigorously opposing it.