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Lotha Naga body urges State leaders to oppose citizenship Bill
Correspondent
 DIMAPUR, Jan 17 - The Lotha Hoho, the apex body of Lotha Nagas, has urged the Naga leaders to come together to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill before it is passed in the Rajya Sabha.

Calling the Bill anti-Naga, the Hoho, in a release today, said once the Bill gets through in the Rajya Sabha, no amount of opposition can undo that.

It criticised the leaders of Naga tribal organisations and legislators for their “laid-back attitude” towards the Bill, which was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.

The Hoho asked the Naga leaders to bear in mind that the Nagas have not elected them to argue among themselves but to “safeguard our welfare and protect us”.

It accused the Naga leaders of not raising their voice against the Bill when needed and doing nothing to make use of the provisions available for protection of the Naga people. It sought to know if the Nagaland MP had objected to the Bill when it was passed in the Lok Sabha.

The Hoho maintained that even though Nagaland has provisions such as the Bengal Easter Frontier Regulation 1873 and the 16-Point Agreement for its own protection, Nagas have not been utilising these Constitutional provisions or agreements when the need arises.

It lamented that instead of making use of the provisions, the Naga leaders are in a hurry to please the Central leaders, and accept acts and policies without caring to ponder on the consequences of adopting such policies.

Referring to reactions against the Bill in other North Eastern States, the Lotha body pointed out that the Asom Gana Parishad pulled out of the alliance with the BJP in Assam, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh led a delegation to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh for a review of the Bill and Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was also vehemently opposing it.

It further said the Naga Students’ Federation and the North East Students’ Organisation had imposed a bandh throughout the North East on January 8 to which the Nagaland Tribes Council extended full support. The JD (U) Nagaland had slammed the BJP and NPF president Shürhozelie Liezietsu has also raised his voice against the Bill.

Despite all these reactions from different organisations across the region, the Naga State leaders, instead of making efforts to oppose the Bill, have exhibited their usual habit of choosing power and money and not their people, the Lotha Hoho alleged.

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