Imphal, Nov. 29,
Even as the Congress legislatures of the Manipur State Assembly have been campaigning against the passing of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, the Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee has not been invited to the consultative meet called by the Home Minister to discuss the issue of the CAB.
Civil body of Manipur, MANPAC yesterday said that the organization has not been invited even though other civil organization of the North East state has been invited. The meeting is scheduled today.
President of the MPCC, confirmed to Imphal Times that they have not received any communication in connection with the proposed consultative meeting convened by the Home Minister to discuss CAB.
Meanwhile, report reaching here said that Assam Congress leaders have decided not to attend the meeting called by Home Minister Amit Shah on Friday to discuss the proposed amendment in the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
Earlier Congress MP’s from the Northeast and the Naga People’s Front (NPF) protested in Parliament against the CAB.
Home Minister’s office had invited all the political parties, ethnic groups of the Northeastern states and civil society groups except those from the state of Manipur.
The CAB intends to make it easier for the non-Muslim immigrants from India’s three Muslim-majority neighbours — Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan to become citizens of India. Though the Bill does not spell it out clearly, but the fact is that it entitles the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians facing religious persecution in the three countries to seek Indian citizenship, and highlights the exclusion of Muslims.
This amendment is to The Citizenship Act, 1955 which requires the applicant to have resided in India for 11 of the previous 14 years. The amendment seeks to relax this requirement of 11 years to 6 years for the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from the three nations.
It is not only the opposition parties which are opposing the CAB, but many Northeastern states fearing that the Bangladeshi immigrants will be settled in their areas, which they think are a threat to their ethnic identity.
In the run up to the 2019 General Elections, almost the entire Northeast, mostly ruled by the BJP or the NDA, had registered their protest.
As a revamped bill is all set to be reintroduced by the Modi government, the provisions for “protecting” the indigenous people of the Northeast are said to have been included.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh had said during a media interaction in October, “We trust and have confidence that Central leaders will be there to protect the indigenous people of the Northeastern region.”
Jeet Akoijam, Resident Editor of Imphal Times hails from Singjamei Liwa Road. Has been with Imphal Times since its start. A National level Rugby player and a regular Trekker and Nature Lover, loves spending time in lap of Mother Nature. Jeet is the father of two lovely kids. Jeet can be contacted at [email protected]
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