Many critic say, “Inclusion of Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) issue in the Election Manifesto is an insult to the people of the North East”. But many in the BJP front are justifying the inclusion of CAB issue in the BJP party Manifesto saying that the reintroduction of the CAB which had failed to even table in the Rajya Sabha , thereby collapsing the Bill will do no harm to the North East Region including the state of Manipur.
The way the CSOs, Students’ Bodies and other civil society organizations responded to the inclusion of the contentious CAB issue is also surprising. A new comer who missed the entire show of mass protest and uproar when the NDA regime passed the Contentious CAB Bill to the Lok - Sabha would definitely feel that the CSOs and the people of the region do not have much problem with the introduction of the CAB as none targeted the Bulls eye. Thanks to one group of CSO called PAM which boycotted the BJP for inclusion of CAB issue in the election Manifesto. If the issue of CAB is serious and people of the state vehemently opposed it then there is no reason to expect another uproar to the ruling BJP.
‘It’ didn’t happen. Manipur sons of the soil who are cadres of the BJP and who had close affiliation with the BJP remain silent this time. What is more interesting is that civil society leader who had strongly opposed the contentious CAB during series of debate in public platform have today openly support the BJP candidate for the Inner Manipur Lok Sabha Poll scheduled to hold on April 18.
The people of the state had seen apprehension to the face of the Chief Minister at that time when there was public uproar in the state against the BJP’s stand for passing of the Bill at Rajya Sabha. The Chief Minister even took credit of not tabling the CAB to Rajya Sabha saying that it is his government effort that the CAB was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha. Time and again the people of the state heard the Chief Minister N. Biren Singh saying that he will urge the center to insert a clause that might exclude North East Particularly the state of Manipur from the purview of the CAB even though everyone knows that the concept of inserting a clause to exclude the state from the purview of the Bill is next to impossible. The words of the Chief Minister might have been used time and again as he and his party may have thought that 60% to 70% of the people of the state have no idea of CAB. This is being assumed after hearing a BJP spokesperson said that CAB will not affect BJP as over 60 % to 70 % of the people of the state do not have the idea of what is there in CAB during a discussion hour at a local TV discussion programme.
It is now crystal clear that among others BJP is bringing back the contentious CAB Bill and convert it into law. The uproar and the criticism have been shut and now the BJP have the guts to come out in public in support of CAB. One wanders how the magic works. One wanders how a one time leader of a CSO openly supports the BJP candidate when he had many times criticized the Bill during discussion hour at Public platform.
The way the Indian election works is either on muscle and money power and not on the issues that matters the state of Manipur. Because every knows the fate of the state on what would happen if the contentious CAB is converted into law of the country.
Rinku Khumukcham, Editor of Imphal Times has more than 15+ years in the field of Journalism. A seasoned editor, was a former editor of ISTV News. He resides in Keishamthong Elangbam Leikai, with his wife and parents.