MPCC demands special Assembly session over citizenship bill

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, January 11, 2019: Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee has demanded to immediately call a special Manipur Assembly Session to take a decision and oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The issue of citizenship bill is not only the concern of Congress party and it should be discussed in the House, former chief minister and Congress Legislature Party leader Okram Ibobi Singh said.

Once the citizenship bill becomes a law it will give a huge blow against the original settlers of Manipur as it is a boundary state and there is fear of extinction of the small indigenous groups of the state by submerging to influx of immigrants from the neighbouring countries. This is not the time to take political mileage on the issue and we need to work together against the bill, said Ibobi.

He also ridiculed the chief minister N. Biren Singh for his statement made on Wednesday during a function that a ministerial team will pressurise the Centre to give assent to the Manipur People’s Protection Bill 2018 before the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 comes into force.

I feel pity of this government’s statement that state’s law will protect its people against the citizenship people. I don’t think that the Centre will give assent to the Manipur people’s protection bill, Okram Joy, a member of MPCC said.

The Manipur People’s Protection Bill, 2018 passed in the Manipur Legislative Assembly seeks to regulate entry and exit of outsiders in Manipur. The citizenship bill is to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afganistan. The people of the region fear of mass influx from the neighbouring countries which would threaten the indigenous people of the region.

Ibobi asked, “How can a bill passed in the Assembly supersede a bill passed in the Parliament?”

On what ground the chief minister addressed that people need not worry over the citizenship bill as the government will protect the people, he asked.

The chief minister must keep his words as he had said the state government shall not always go with the decision of the centre beyond the decision of the state Assembly, spokesperson of MPCC Kh. Joykishan said.

Despite of the difference in party ideology all the political parties should come together and oppose the citizenship bill which was passed in Lok Sabha and deferred in the Rajya Sabha, said Joy.

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