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School children protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Aizawl
School children protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Aizawl|EastMojo image
MIZORAM

Mizoram assembly adopts resolution against Citizenship Bill

Decision comes amid strong demands from opposition members that the ruling Mizo National Front must cut ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: Amid strong demands from the opposition members that the ruling Mizo National Front (MNF) must cut ties with the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the Mizoram Assembly on Wednesday adopted an official resolution, expressing opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 and urging the government of India not to re-introduce the bill in future.

Home minister Lalchamliana, who moved the resolution said the Citizenship (Amendment) bill was strongly opposed by the Mizo people, all political parties, civil societies and the churches.

He said that the citizenship bill, which was passed by Lok Sabha on January 8 and lapsed in Rajya Sabha was an attempt to make illegal migrants eligible to be given Indian citizenship on the basis of religion.

The bill could have been enacted had not the Rajya Sabha adjourned sine die without tabling it, he said

Although the state assembly had adopted a resolution opposing the CAB in June last year, it is crucial that the present assembly also adopt the same resolution as the BJP was firm on introducing the bill, if voted to power in upcoming Lok Sabha polls, he added.

The home minister said that the bill was against the principle of secularism and if enacted, would be harmful for a state like Mizoram, which has been facing influx problem of illegal migrants from Bangladesh over decades.

The resolution stated that the august house resolves to impress upon the government of India its unequivocal opposition to the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2019 that seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants eligible to be given Indian citizenship on the basis of religion and that the august house urges upon the Union government not to re-introduce the bill in any form in future.

Opposition members, however, slammed the ruling MNF for moving the resolution despite being a part of the BJP led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).

Demanding the ruling MNF to pull out of NEDA, Congress legislature party leader Zodintluanga and opposition leader Lalduhoma said that the resolution was meaningless as long as MNF is a NDA partner. They urged the MNF to withdraw support to NEDA in order to show solidarity with the people.

Even though expressing his support to the resolution, Lalduhoma alleged that the decision to introduce it was vote bank politics by the MNF.

Ruling members argued that the citizenship bill was a matter of national concern as well as the entire Mizo people and should not be used for political vendetta. Chief minister Zoramthanga said that the MNF, though part of NEDA, did not work with the BJP.

After prolonged discussion involving 15 members, including house leader Zoramthanga the state legislature unanimously adopted the resolution stating “cutting across party lines, legislators from both the ruling MNF and the opposition resolved to oppose the bill and urged the government of India not to re-introduced it.