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Nagaland ruling party flays NPF over citizenship Bill
Correspondent
 DIMAPUR, Oct 10 - The ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) today said Union Home Minister Amit Shah had on October 5 reiterated in Aizawl what he had declared at the North East Democratic Alliance meet in Guwahati on September 9.

The party, in a release, said that Shah had declared that a provision would be included in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to protect the North Eastern States particularly Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, which is a much welcome decision.

However, the Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF), in its haste to attack the PDA Government, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Lok Sabha member Tokheho Yepthomi, has failed to actually understand what that provision is going to be, the NDPP stated.

The ruling party was reacting to the NPF’s statement which appeared in the local dailies on October 9, attacking the Chief Minister, the MP and the PDA Government over an issue which, it said, had been dealt with many times in the past few months.

It said the Union Home Minister had reiterated that the North Eastern States would be protected through provisions in the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, and that the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in force in the NE States would be incorporated into the proposed Bill, thus vindicating the stand of the People’s Democratic Alliance Government in Nagaland that the ILP regime and Article 371(A) would protect Nagaland. It pointed out that Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland are protected by the ILP regime, and that it was due to such provisions that the Home Minister had specifically mentioned these States.

The NDPP said the NPF, as a political party, should now answer to the people why it has time and again held the stand and tried to mislead the people that the ILP regime under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873, cannot protect Nagas and Nagaland from the proposed citizenship Bill.

“What was the then Chief Minister TR Zeliang doing when the proposed CAB was being formulated in Parliament in 2016 while the State was under his guard? What was the ruling NPF party doing that they have suddenly decided to become the guardians of the Naga people against the proposed CAB when the Bill was actually drawn during their reign?” the NDPP asked.

The ruling party alleged that the Government ran by the NPF at that point of time did not even utter a squeak of protest, while today it is trying to portray itself as the champions of the people.

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