Political parties’ delegation to rush to Delhi over citizenship bill

Pothashang News Service: Imphal, January 28, 2019: A political parties’ delegation will leave for Delhi tomorrow to urge the Centre to insert a clause in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 to protect Manipur.

The decision was taken by a political parties meeting chaired by chief minister N. Biren Singh was held today at the chief minister secretariat to take a decision over the bill issue.

Education minister Th. Radheshyam said the political delegation will leave Imphal tomorrow.

CPI, CPI (M), (RSP), Forward Bloc, NCP, AAP, Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance (PRAJA), Janata Dal (secular) and BSP will not be a part of the delegation as the government fails to accept to the demand for withdrawal of the bill and to convene a special assembly session, said CPI Manipur secretary L. Sotinkumar.

Majority of the parties opposed the bill. But, we have decided to approach the Centre to protect Manipur from the bill, president of Shiv Sena Manipur Unit M. Tombi said.

The bill is unconstitutional, communal and is against secularism. We wanted withdrawal of the bill and to convene a special assembly session to take a resolution against the bill, said Sotinkumar.

In contrast to the opinion of withdrawal of the bill the government wanted insertion of a clause in the bill so that Manipur will not be affected by the bill, before the bill is discussed in the Rajya Sabha, general secretary of Forward Bloc Khomdram Gyaneshwar said. The bill needs to be withdrawn to insert the clause, he added.

The government also opined for urging the Centre to give assent to Manipur People’s Bill, 2018,” president of All India Trinamool Congress, Manipur S. Manaoton Singh said.

Chief minister N. Biren Singh has urged the people not to be over apprehensive about the bill. He said the state government had sought a written assurance from the Centre that no one would be given Indian citizenship without the state government’s recommendation. The state government has also been pressing the Centre to give Presidential assent to the Manipur People Bill, 2018 to ensure protection of the indigenous people of the state, he added.

Congress and Manipur Peoples Party did not take part in the meeting.

Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee decided to stay away from the all political parties’ meeting as the Congress party feels that the meeting is aimed at finding an excuse for the state government, former chief minister and Congress Legislature Party Leader Okram Ibobi Singh said.

 The government needs to make its stance on the Citizen Amendment Bill very clear that if it is against the bill or in favour of it, he added.

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