NPF ridicules NDPP’s clarification on CAB

DIMAPUR | Publish Date: 1/18/2019 12:14:14 PM IST

NPF has ridiculed the NDPP for allegedly trying to “brainwash” people by citing Article 371 (A) of the Constitution of India as a shield to protect Nagaland and Nagas against any adverse impact of the Citizenship Amendment (CAB) Bill, 2016. 

In a rejoinder issued by its press bureau, the opposition party stated that NDPP acting as a “guardian of law and seeking to project Article 371 (A) as the ultimate cure” for protecting the Nagas from the controversial Bill had proved futile as it was neither the interpreter nor a guardian of the Indian constitution. It had no right to even try explaining things to the Naga people as its real colour had already been exhibited with the chief minister and his cabinet deciding to not oppose the Bill, the party alleged.

Wondering why, instead of supporting and protecting the Naga people, NDPP was continuously feeding the public a wrong interpretation of Article 371 (A) & BEFRA, NPF asked the ruling party to clarify why the State government was not opposing but supporting the controversial Bill when all the Nagas and people in the North-eastern region were raising a hue and cry.

Further demanding to know from NDPP whether village institutions or village councils were the sole authority for granting citizenship to an illegal immigrant or outsider as claimed by it, the opposition party asked the ruling party whether it could stop any foreign settler of Hindu faith who had settled in the State for a period of six years from obtaining Indian citizenship, once the Bill was enacted as an Act of law. 

NPF pointed out that, once the Bill was passed, Nagaland would not remain an exception as any foreigner settling in any part of the country for a period of six years would obtain Indian citizenship. It added that no matter how hard NDPP tried to explain or hide the “misdeed and misadventure” of Rio and his cabinet, Nagas were not so ignorant anymore.

Cautioning that the CAB would directly undermine Article 371 (A) as the Article itself could not override the constitution, the opposition party demanded that NDPP should stop making a “spectacle” by trying to sow seeds of confusion in the minds of intellectuals and enlightened Nagas.

NPF also asked NDPP what its chief minister was doing when CAB came up in 2016 in Lok Sabha of which he was a member, adding that the latter should not forget that Rio was its MP then, but did not bother to do anything.

Taking into consideration the ruling party’s assertion that the Bill would not be made applicable to Nagaland under provisions of Article 371 (A), the opposition party asked whether current Lok Sabha member Tokheho Yepthomi demanded in Parliament that the State should be exempted from the Bill. It said NDPP should not forget Tokheho was MP when CAB was passed in Lok Sabha on January 8.

“At the behest of pleasing Central leaders, the NDPP led PDA government should not fool Naga people as it is still fresh in the minds of the people that after the cabinet decision on June 5, 2018, a team from the ruling coalition led by Rio met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Rajnath Singh and conveyed the State government’s decision not to oppose CAB,” the opposition party added.

Assuring the people of Nagaland that it would always stand with the principles of regionalism to protect and safeguard their rights, NPF said its Rajya Sabha member would remain faithful and vote against the Bill “come what may”.

It also urged NDPP not to politicise the issue but take up the matter for the sake of the Naga people’s future. 

NPF clarified that it did not raise the issue merely as an opposition party, adding it did so taking into consideration the magnitude and likely implications of the Bill on Naga people in the near future.

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