Former Mizoram CM Lal Thanhawla | PC: File image Credit: File image

Aizawl: Former Mizoram chief minister and state Congress president Lal Thanhawla has slammed the Citizenship Bill as “unconstitutional” and an attempt to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants on religious lines.

Addressing to party workers in a function held in central Mizoram’s Serchhip town, Lal Thanhawla said the Citizenship Bill, if enacted, would have severe impact on a small state like Mizoram in near future.

He alleged that the citizenship bill was introduced by the NDA government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2016 to seek amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955.

While stating that Mizoram would be worst affected by the proposed legislation, the congress leader also termed the bill “discriminator and arbitrary” because its main target is the Hindu immigrants, who fled religious persecution from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

He said that the All India Congress Committee has strongly opposed to the bill from the very beginning because it violates the constitution.

According to Lal Thanhawla, the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the citizenship bill was constituted by the centre when non-BJP parties including the Congress expressed strong opposition to the bill.

He said that he had written to the centre against the bill during his tenure as the chief minister of Mizoram and that he was among first chief minister to oppose the bill.

He also accused the JPC of violating article 14 of the constitution “Rights to Equality before Law” by skipping Mizoram when it toured Northeast.

Mizoram being sandwiched between Bangladesh and Myanmar could face enormous illegal influx crisis if the bill is enacted, he added.

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