DIMAPUR, May 27 - The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) on Monday called for an open debate on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) issue in the presence of all political parties, civil societies and legal luminaries to take a collective stand.
PCC president K Therie, in a release, said a collective decision should be taken so that the Central Government would leave Nagaland out of the purview of the Bill.
Maintaining that there is no relation between CAB and Article 371(A), Therie said, “In our political analysis, we do not see we are safe under the CAB.”
The NPCC chief said though they had raised their voice against the Bill during the Lok Sabha elections, the “mandate was in favour of CAB (NDPP+BJP) with a thin margin.”
“The CAB issue has been a vote bank politics and the BJP has reaped its benefits in the recently concluded parliamentary election,” he alleged.
According to Therie, the BJP won in West Bengal and Assam because the CAB was supported by illegal migrant voters and well-wishers who were yearning to bring their relatives from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
“If their votes can win the election, that alone is proof that they are not in small numbers as explained in the study paper,” he said while referring to the figures provided by newly elected Lok Sabha MP Tokheho Yepthomi on Saturday.
The NPCC chief accused the BJP of having no regard to the sentiments of the people of the North East who protested unitedly against the Bill. Therie also alleged that BJP is not bothered about the objection of the hill States to the CAB as their numbers hardly matter to it.
While the CAB plans to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 to grant legal status to the illegal immigrants, North East Democratic Alliance convenor and BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, the alleged architect of the Bill, admitted that there are more than eight lakh Hindu Bengalis in Assam, who would be granted citizenship, Therie said.
He termed the number 31,313 quoted as reference for the number of people who would benefit from CAB by Tokheho as “utterly misguiding”.