ZPM general secretary Lalmunapuia Punte addresses a party meeting in Aizawl, Mizoram on Monday Credit: EastMojo image

Aizawl: Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM), an electoral alliance of six regional parties, on Monday lambasted Mizo National Front (MNF) headed by chief minister Zoramthanga for allegedly failing to take concrete measures to oppose the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and demanded that a massive “deportation drive” be launched against illegal immigrants or foreigners, who crossed the Mizoram border from neighbouring Bangladesh.

“ A time has come for Mizoram to launch a massive ‘drive out’ campaign against illegal immigrants, especially the Chakma foreigners, who have been illegally residing in the state for decades, before the Centre passed the Citizenship Bill,” ZPM general secretary Lalmunapuia Punte said while addressing a meeting at the party office at treasury square here in Aizawl on Monday.

Expressing concern about the rapid increase in illegal Chakma immigrants, Punte also urged the state government to deport Chakma foreigners at the earliest possible before the citizenship has been finalized for implementation.

He said that the state government should give top priority to expulsion of Chakma foreigners, whose alarming increase in their population become a major issue in the state.

Citing that the Centre is firm on passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the ZPM leader said the bill, once enacted, would bring severe harm on Mizoram, where there are large numbers of illegal immigrants.

Hitting out at chief minister Zoramthanga, Punte accused him of “power hungry” and said he did not have concern about the impact of Citizenship Bill at a time civil society organisations and student bodies are launching massive protest against the proposed legislation.

“Zoramthanga is running only after power and has not concern for the safety of Mizoram and the people. He has not yet raised strong voice to oppose the bill while the NGOs are raising their top voice to protest against the proposed legislation,” he said.

The former NESO leader also asked the ruling MNF to sever ties with the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre.

He alleged that the MNF has committed a big insult to the people of Mizoram by maintaining “ties” with the BJP, a national party, which is keen on destroying the Mizo people and their religion.

“We appeal to the MNF once again that it must withdraw support to the BJP led North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) if it really sympathize with the Mizo communities,” he said.

The ZPM, an alliance of six regional parties, had earlier asked the MNF to pull out of NEDA and sever ties with BJP at the centre to oppose the citizenship bill.

ZPM Legislature Party leader Lalduhoma had said that the MNF must withdraw support to NEDA in order to show solidarity with the people of Mizoram against the citizen bill.

Punte has also urged voters to extend supports to the ZPM in order to oust the BJP ally MNF in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

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