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NPF Legislature Party accuses Rio of double-speak on Citizenship Bill

DIMAPUR, JANAURY 9 (MExN): The NPF Legislature Party on Wednesday accused Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio of double-speak on the issue of the Citizenship Bill (Amendment) 2016.

A press statement issued by the NPF Legislature Party spokesperson, Imkong L Imchen recalled that before the formation of the PDA government, the then Nagaland Cabinet had a sitting to deliberate on the issue of Citizenship Bill (Amendment) 2016 wherein Rio had stated that they would not oppose the bill since Nagaland is protected under Article 371 (A) of the Constitution of India and Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 (Inner Line Permit).

Going further, Rio had taken his team of Cabinet to Delhi to meet the Home Minister of India and categorically told him that he would not oppose the bill, the press statement alleged.

However, the NPF downrightly rejected this and demanded that the Nagaland government oppose the Bill as the State vulnerable vis-à-vis the illegal immigrants, and the repercussions of this controversial Bill would be disastrous to the future of Nagas, the press statement claimed.

It also stated that the NPF party sought to raise this issue in the 2nd session of the Assembly and accordingly the subject was listed in the Business list of the day but “bizarrely, the Speaker of the house refused to let the NPF MLAs to delve on this subject.”

Further, the Leader of the NPF Legislature party, TR Zeliang had written a letter to the Chief Minister on this subject, July 16, 2018, seeking clarification on the stand of PDA government.

It stated that the PDA government had a cabinet meeting on the January7, 2019 to deliberate on the issue expressed disappointment that the decision of the cabinet was “to urge the Centre to re-examine and review” the controversial bill. No mention were made as in what form to ‘Re-examine and Review’ as the Bill has been passed in the Lok Sabha, it added.

It stated that while the Naga populace is crying politically or otherwise to defend its integrity and identity at any cost, the Centre has brought about a legal passage for the illegal immigrants to swarm the Northeastern States and in particular Nagaland. The much talked about article 371(A) of the Constitution of India shall also become redundant should this bill be passed and becomes a Law, the press statement from the NPF Legislature Party apprehended.

“When the whole of Northeastern States India is burning and crying for remedy to this Bill, the state government of Nagaland is playing dumb and deaf which is setting a bad precedent and will go down in the history book for the younger generation to read of the betrayal and stoic attitude which this PDA government maintained when it had the opportunity to do something about it today,” the press statement further read.

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