Unrelenting on CAB

By Nagaland Post | Publish Date: 2/10/2019 11:53:15 AM IST

 While the people of the north east has spoken out in one voice against the proposed Citizenship(Amendment)Bill 2016 and while most political parties also chose to oppose the bill by heeding to the voices of their people, the NDA government has shown little inclination to hear these pleas. The ball is clearly in the BJP government’s court after it was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8,2019. The Bill was originally introduced in 2016 and later sent to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). The Committee submitted its report and after which the Bill was redrafted and presented to the Lok Sabha. The opposition in the Rajya Sabha has raised objections to the proposed amendment in the bill, which excludes Muslims. The very fact that the CAB excludes Muslims goes against the grain of secularism which remains the core of Indian democracy. Opposition parties have been demanding that the bill be referred to a select committee before it is discussed in the Rajya Sabha. The Citizenship Act of 1955 labels a person an “illegal immigrant” if they have entered India without travel documents or overstayed the date specified in the travel documents. The minimum residency period for citizenship as per the Citizenship Act of 1955 is 12 years. However under the CAB 2016 it is being reduced from 12 years to 6 years. There have been massive outpouring of anger against the CAB, particularly in Assam and Manipur. Even Meghalaya a state having BJP as a coalition partner, has, in no uncertain terms, made known its total opposition against the Bill. Rather one of the two, BJP legislators from Meghalaya, Sanbor Shullai warned that he would be compelled to leave the party if the controversial Bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha. Even Meghalaya chief minister and National People’s Party(NPP) president Conrad Sangma has threatened to snap ties with the BJP if the CAB is passed in the Rajya Sabha. Sangma’s threat comes after his party-NPP- unanimously decided to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. In an unprecedented constitutional move, Manipur, Meghalaya and Mizoram have passed resolutions in the state assemblies to reject the bill.Reports of angry protestors in Assam and Manipur continue to pour in. In BJP-ruled Assam, when prime minister Narendra Modi arrived Guwahati, he was greeted with black flags and slogans. The Asom Gana Parishad(AGP) had to walk out of the BJP-led coalition in order to make good its repeated warnings in the past against the CAB. In Nagaland, the state-wide 10-hour bandh on February 11 comes after the earlier 11-hour bandh held on January 8. Both the bandhs are directly linked with opposition against the CAB. The sentiments against the CAB throughout the north east is discernible and has clearly pitted the BJP against the rest in the region. However, the BJP is not interested to heed to the voices of even its own north east party members. That itself is an indication of how prepared the party is to push through the legislation. According to reports, the BJP’s calculations indicate that it will not lose too much in the Lok Sabha elections of 2019 even if the bill is amended and passed into an Act before the elections, has made it unwilling to drop the bill. Eventually, what BJP does with CAB will impact 2019 polls and also the political landscape of the region.

Launched on December 3,1990. Nagaland Post is the first and highest circulated newspaper of Nagaland state. Nagaland Post is also the first newspaper in Nagaland to be published in multi-colour.

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