Protests against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Credit: EastMojo Image File

Kohima: A day ahead of the state government’s special deliberation on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), the Opposition parties in the state have decided to oppose the bill at any cost.

Even as the much controversial bill is to be deliberated on the ongoing 23rd state Assembly, the Opposition couldn’t refrain from mentioning CAB as the House debated over the motion of thanks.

Nagaland governor on Thuursday announced that ILP will be applicable in the entire state including Nagaland, but the long-pending decision of the government to directly oppose the Bill before the Lok Sabha assent it and the repeated delay of Naga political issue were some of the dominant issues of the House.

Beginning with the starred question on the issue, Opposition questioned as to whether Nagaland’s lone Lok Sabha MP voted for or against the Bill on January 8, it was replied that the chief minister’s office does not maintain the record of voting in the Lok Sabha.

Over debate, Imkong Imchen, MLA, questioned the government’s repeated declaration as to how Art 371(A) protects the people and further suggested that a special session must be convened to discuss the special provision as it no more “legally” protects the state. He made this reference in the light of the High Court’s recent suo moto notice over Nagaland Petroleum and Natural Gas which barred the state government from the NPNG rules 2012, besides suspending all pending orders and actions the government had taken under the rules.

YMYallow, MLA, also questioned whether the Naga political Issue will be “inclusive, honourable and acceptable to Nagas” (as stated by the Governor) if the peace talks includes only political parties, civil societies and not the “underground” or the Naga Political groups.

While ministers of the ruling government responded to the questions, Rio’s concluding remark addressing the answers raised by TR Zeliang, leader of the Opposition and his members’ put an end to the second day of the 3rd session of the 13th Nagaland Legislative Assembly.

Chief minister Rio stated that Nagas are fully protected under Art 371(A). He mentioned that point No.16 of the 16 point agreement, incorporated in Art 371(A), where Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1872 Act protects the social, religious, customary, civil and criminal justice ownership and transfer of land. Stating that Supreme Court will protect the integrity of the Country as the Naga representation in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha is minimal, he urged all to unite and protect the state and “fight for our rights”. He further urged all concerned to voice out in the forthcoming visit of RN Ravi in the state.

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