MPCC members meet governor over Citizenship bill


Pothashang News Service: Imphal, January 21, 2019: Representatives of Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee led by its president T.N. Haokip, CLP leader and former chief minister Okram Ibobi and CWC member, AICC Gaikhangam asked governor Najma Heptulla to governor Najma Heptulla asking her to convene a special session of Manipur State Assembly at the earliest to oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019.

The governor replied that it will not be possible to convene a special session immediately as the house has been prorogued. It would take 15 days to convene a session, Ibobi told reporters at Congress Bhawan.

He said the Congress party has been opposing the bill since the day it was tabled in the Parliament. We have been suggesting for an all-party meeting and have been urging for a special Assembly session. As there has been no response to our demand we approached the governor, he added.

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We want to help the government take a unanimous resolution in the House to oppose the bill from passing it in Rajya Sabha. The parliament session is scheduled to begin on January 31, Ibobi said.

The MPCC members submitted a memorandum to the governor which said the passage of the bill to Rajya Sabha and likelihood of Rajya Sabha passing of the bill creates a lot of unrest and anxiety to the people of Manipur. At the backdrop of the entire North Eastern region’s protest against the bill the civil society organisations and concerned citizens in the state are demanding immediate collective response from their elected representatives in the situation.

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MPCC shares the public sentiment and it is of the opinion that an urgent special session of the state Assembly for an in-depth debate on the bill in larger public interest may be able to address the issue, it added.

Ibobi said if the chief minsters of North East states together oppose the bill the government of India would take serious of the people’s voice against the bill.

When the chief ministers of Mizoram and Meghalaya has opposed the bill Manipur chief minister N.Biren Singh had said he had asked the Centre to insert a clause to protect the indigenous people of Manipur, Ibobi said.

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“Will the Centre accept his request when the bill was passed in Lok Sabha denying people’s voice? Is the BJP led state government afraid of the Central government to oppose the bill,” he asked.

The central government talks of Act East Policy, it keeps saying India cannot be developed without developing North-East and Union ministers visited the region every alternative day ahead of state Assembly election. What have been said has not been made practical. So we wary about the bill, said Ibobi.


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