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MIZORAM

Mizoram: PRISM firm on Right to Secession Bill, if elected to LS

EC had earlier issued a letter seeking clarification from the anti-corruption watchdog turned political party on using the controversial legislation as poll agenda

Henry L Khojol

Aizawl: The People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM), an anti-corruption watchdog turned political party on Wednesday said it was firm on introducing Right to Secession Bill in the parliament, if its candidate was elected to Lok Sabha.

The Election Commission had on March 22 issued a letter to Prism, seeking clarification from the party on using “Right to Secession Bill” as poll agenda as the matter involves question of the unity and integrity of the country.

Prism president Vanlalruata told a news conference on Wednesday that his party was trying to move the bill because the Centre was attempting to legislate the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was against secularism, unity and integrity of the nation.

He said that they had also clarified the matter to the Election Commission.

According to Vanlalruata, BJP president Amit Shah had told a rally in Assam’s Lakhimpur that his party would re-introduce the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, if returned to power.

Vanlalruata said that the proposed citizenship bill, if enacted, was not only harmful for the entire Northeast region especially Mizoram and Assam, but would also divide India demographically.

He claimed that his party has no other option but introduce the Right to Secession Bill for the safety of the Mizos, who are declared indigenous people by the United Nations, if the Central government is trying to legislate the citizenship bill.

Vanlalruata claimed that almost all the northeastern states also endorsed secession bill.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which triggered massive protest in the northeast, was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 and was lapsed in Rajya Sabha.

Prism president also accused the Election Commission of violating a law by declaring the Bru tribal in Tripura as “ordinary residents” of Mizoram. He said that the poll panel declared the Bru people as ordinary residents of Mizoram on September 6, 2014, which is illegal.

According to him, the EC was not a competent authority to make such declaration as the issue was within the purview of the union home ministry.

While welcoming the NGOs for their initiative not to allow the Bru voters exercise their franchise at relief camps in Tripura, Vanlalruata said that names of the Bru voters, who refused to return to Mizoram should be deleted from the state’s electoral roll and urged the state government to take effort in this regard.

“For every Indian citizen, we have the right to migrate to any Indian states. The Bru people also migrated to Tripura and they should be enrolled as voters there if they are reluctant to return to Mizoram,” he said.

He, however, said that election should be conducted as per schedule because there is chance of electing a person, who is against the majority choice, if election is boycotted.

Prism has fielded a former sailor TBC Lalvenchhunga for the lone Lok Sabha seat, polling for which will be held simultaneously with assembly by-election to Aizawl West-I seat on April 11.