Northeast MPs divided over CAB in LS

GUWAHATI, DEC 9 (AGENCIES) | Publish Date: 12/9/2019 12:31:42 PM IST

The ongoing debate over the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019 in the Lok Sabha today witnessed a clash of opinions among the MPs representing the various states of the Northeast even as the region is experiencing strikes and protests against the bill.

While Congress MPs have expressed stiff opposition to this bill, MPs from other parties like BJP, NPF, MNF and NPP are most likely going to vote in favour of the bill.

NPF MP from Outer Manipur, Lorho S. Pfoze has come out in support of the bill and expressed his gratitude to the Home Minister for considering the introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP) in Manipur. “We are a small number and of late, there have been a lot of protests and turmoil over this bill but today, I thank the home minister for announcing the implementation of ILP in the state,” he said at the floor of the house today.

Furthermore, Pfoze said that other than the CAB, there are also other issues which concerns Manipur and the Northeast even as he urged the centre to also bring the Naga Peace Accord to rest.

Meanwhile, MNF MP from Mizoram, C. Lalrosanga has also come out in support of the bill and thanked the prime minister and home minister for exempting Mizoram and other Northeastern states from the ambit of the bill. “There was a lot of mental torture because of CAB;

it has been weighing very heavily on us cutting across party lines; fortunately, on several occasion, we have been expressing our fears and concerns to the PM and HM and they were kind enough to listen and address our concerns,” he said. He further requested the home minister to fulfill all the assurances made in the house in relation to Northeast.

NPP MP from Tura, Meghalaya, Agatha Sangma has sought for exemption of the bill in the entire Northeast. Terming the region as sensitive, Sangma impressed on the need to protect the northeastern states.

She has also sought clarification from the centre on the relocation of applicants after they receive citizenship post all the technicalities. “In case, we have applicants who are already residing in Meghalaya and receive citizenship post all the technicalities fulfilled, is there a plan to relocate these citizens into another location?” she asked.

Furthermore, she extended her gratitude to the home minister for holding extensive consultations with all the chief ministers and civil societies of Northeast on the fear and apprehension over the bill.

“I feel that a lot of those apprehensions have been clarified but if there are more issues that NE is facing, kindly be open in future. This is the initial, many problems may occur, issues may need to be addressed, I request the HM to be patient and open-hearted,” she said.

Meanwhile, Congress MPs from Assam, Pradyut Bordoloi  and Gaurav Gogoi have expressed their stiff opposition to the bill and termed the bill as an “instrument of polarization”.

“What would happen to Assam if the bill is introduced? If we allow influx and migration, the Assamese will lose their identity. If you push CAB, you are pushing Assam and Northeast into an era of uncertainty and insurgency,” said Bordoloi.


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