Aizawl: Days after BJP national president Amit Shah said that the BJP is firm on getting the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill cleared, the Mizoram state unit on Tuesday warned that it will quit the saffron party if the Centre moves ahead with passage of the contentious Bill against the interest of Mizo people.
State BJP unit president Prof JV Hluna said that the state unit will have no option but “dissolve” itself if the Centre refused to revoke the bill.
“We stand here and enrolled as political party for the cause of Mizo people, development of Mizoram and Mizo unity. Why should we remain any longer in the BJP if the bill is harmful for Mizoram,” Hluna told a news conference on Tuesday.
Hluna, however, was contradicting himself when he said that they would not resign from the saffron party if the citizenship bill brings no harm to the state.
“We should first carefully examine what exactly is the bill about. If it tends to have no harm for Mizoram and that if it is not against the interest of the Mizo people then there is no question of leaving the party,” he said.
Citing that the party gave primary importance to Mizoram and safety of the people, Hluna said that he had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Rajnath Singh asking them to at least keep Northeastern states out the Bill purview, if not scrapped.
According to Hluna, the Citizenship Bill seeks to safeguard the Hindus, Christians, Buddhist, Parsis, Jains and Sikhs, who suffered religious persecution in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Unlike in Assam, where migration of Hindus from Bangladesh is the main issue that has been brewing over a decade, in Mizoram the main concern is “illegal influx” of Buddhist Chakmas from Bangladesh.
Interestingly, while politicians and civil societies are of the opinion that the proposed legislation is harmful for Mizoram because of illegal Chakma immigrants, whose population has allegedly increased beyond human normal production, Hluna held a “reversed” opinion saying the citizenship bill is not dangerous for the state as it envisage citizenship to only those who faced or fear religious persecution.
According to him, the Buddhist Chakmas in Bangladesh have never faced religious persecution in that country during the last 40 years and hence would not migrate to Mizoram.
“Majority of the Chakmas are Buddhist and there are few Christian also. So far as our knowledge is concerned the Chakmas never faced religious persecution in Bangladesh over the last 40 years. Unlike perceived by civil societies, the citizenship bill is not dangerous for Mizoram because no Chakma people will enter the state owing to religious persecution,” Hluna said.
Accusing some politicians of misleading the people over Chakma people, the BJP president also termed the allegation leveled by some politicians that the indigenous Mizos would become minority in their own state and that they will be under Chakma chief minister in near future as “baseless” and “white lie”
He said that the Chakma people in Chakma Autonomous District Council (CADC) area is not a big issue that has to be revived as according to 2011 census there are about 96,972 people including some Mizos in the council area, who have already obtained voter ID and live in the state for decades.
Hluna, however, said that his party has extended moral support to civil bodies and churches in opposing the proposed legislation.
He also urged the people of Mizoram to hold mass prayer to ensure that the bill is defeated in the Rajya Sabha.