AGARTALA, Feb 4 - The ruling BJP in Tripura is facing the heat over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, as opposition parties are gearing up for a massive agitation in the State.
While the CPI(M) on Monday staged a rally demanding rollback of the Citizenship Bill, the Congress declared that it will carry out a ‘Raj Bhavan Abhijan’. A delegation of the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT) today left for Delhi to state their “adverse observation” on the Bill.
Former Chief Minister and Opposition leader Manik Sarkar, CPI(M) state secretary Gautam Das, CPI(M) central committee member Aghore Debbarma and TTAADC chief Radha Charan Debbarma addressed the rally held here.
Sarkar strongly opposed the Citizenship Bill, saying it could refuel the secessionist movement in the North East. “The North East, which is demographically sensitive, had witnessed a lot of bloodshed due to separatist movements for decades. If the Bill is passed in the Rajya Sabha, it will escalate the tension again,” he said.
Launching a scathing attack on the BJP, the former Chief Minister alleged that the saffron party moved the Bill at the behest of the RSS. “The BJP got the Bill passed in the Lok Sabha banking on its majority. Now, the party is trying to pass the Bill in the Rajya Sabha where it does not have majority. The political parties and people must resist the BJP’s attempt to pass the Bill in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill is totally against the spirit of our Constitution,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Congress on Monday declared that it would stage a ‘Raj Bhavan Abhijan’ opposing the Citizenship Bill. “We are going to organise a Raj Bhavan march on February 25 over our three-point charter of demands, including opposition to the Bill,” Congress leaders said at a press conference here.
Meanwhile, an INPT delegation led by party president Bijay Kumar Hrangkhawl on Monday left for Delhi to lodge their “adverse observations” on the Central government’s decision on the Citizenship Bill.
“We are leaving for Delhi to lodge our complaints over the Central government’s move of empowering the TTAADC along with other ADCs in the North East. We plan to meet the Secretary of the Union Home Ministry and submit a memorandum clearing our stand on two key issues – ADC empowerment and the Citizenship Bill,” said INPT general secretary Jagadish Debbarma.
Interestingly, except IPFT, almost all tribal parties are up in arms against ADC empowerment and the Citizenship Bill. According to political analysts, the IPFT has so far remained tight-lipped due to political compulsion but there has been growing resentment in the party’s rank and file over the issues.