Forceful imposition of CAA could lead to ‘big conflict’ as it has divided the nation, says Naga People’s Front’s newly appointed secretary general Achumbemo Kikon
Kohima: While the fifth session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly (NLA) is scheduled from February 7-15, opposition Naga People’s People’s Front (NPF) announced that the party will show resentment against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, by staging protest during the session.
Announcing this at a conference on Monday, NPF secretary general Achumbemo Kikon said that during the party’s joint consultative meeting between the legislature wing and the party legislatures on Saturday, it “seriously deliberated” on the CAA. While the NPF MLAs will be fiercely arguing against the Act, Kikon said that these members will also move a resolution for the withdrawal of the Act.
“The party also has a plan that during the Assembly period [session], certain programmes will be organised to register our protest against CAA,” said Kikon. He added that the time and place will be announced later.
Kikon expressed that the party has resolved to oppose CAA as it is “religion based” and is “discriminatory”. Saying that CAA in its present form has “divided” the country, and if “imposed very forcefully”, it could lead to a “big conflict” and similar conflicts may reoccur. He cited former chief minister Vamuzo Phesao’s wise gesture on the Ayodhya Crisis decades ago, and added that the party continues to “look at any kind of conflict on peaceful solution”.
Meanwhile, Kikon also said that the party will file a candidate to contest for the post of the Speaker during the scheduled Assembly session, although the name of the candidate was not revealed. As per reports, former NLA speaker, Dr Imtiwapang Aier, will contest as the party’s candidate. The nominations began on Monday and will be closed at 12 noon on Wednesday. This will be followed by the withdrawal of nomination period on Wednesday, from 1-3 pm. The election of the Assembly Speaker will be held on the first day of the session. The post of the Speaker felt vacant, following the demise of the then sitting Speaker Vikho-o Yhoshü in December last year.
Saying that a whip has been issued in this regard, Kikon said that its MLAs including the seven suspended MLAs, will “hopefully” abide by the party whip. He then added that the disqualification case against the seven MLAs who “defied the party’s collective decision in the last Lok Sabha election” is pending in the NLA speaker’s court.
Making reference of the Manipur defection case, Kikon said that it is befitting for the party to approach the high court or the Supreme Court to direct the NLA’s Speaker to look into the matter. However, the decision to approach the court will hold on till the completion of the coming Assembly proceedings.
The week-long Budget session of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly will be held on February 7,8,10,13,14,and 15. Earlier on January 17, the State Assembly convened the fifth session where it ratified the 126th Constitutional Amendment Bill. Nagaland governor RN Ravi addressed the Assembly session and the motion of thanks was moved by KT Sukhalu, MLA, and seconded by H Haiying, MLA. Deputy Speaker and Speaker-in-charge Sharingain Longkumer later adjourned the session till 9:30 am on February 7.