Students burn effigies of PM Narendra Modi and then home minister Rajnath Singh in protest against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in January this year Credit: File image

Aizawl: In the run-up to the proposed visit of Union home minister Amit Shah to Mizoram on October 5, the state unit of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday made an appeal to the NGO Coordination Committee to cancel its protest and welcome him in an amicable manner.

This will be Shah’s first visit to Mizoram after assuming office, and is expected to hold discussions about Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB). His visit will be preceded by that of Assam minister and North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma on October 1.

Earlier this year, there was mass protests against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill across Mizoram

Speaking to journalists at a press conference in Atal Bhavan in Aizawl on Monday, state BJP president Prof JV Hluna said urged the NGO Coordination Committee, an umbrella organisation of student bodies and civil society groups, to take the opportunity of Shah’s visit as a platform for discussing the problems faced by the state — be it the border issue with Assam, repatriation of the Brus, development of National Highway-54 and Lengpui Airport, among others.

Hluna also said that if the NGO Coordination Committee fears that the Union home minister will push forward the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, it is wiser to have a dialogue rather than protesting the visit.

Addressing the fears and reservations about CAB, state BJP vice-president Judy Zohmingliani said, “Even if the Bill is implemented, it will not affect the existing special provisions of the Northeast region.”

There were widespread protests against the implementation of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Aizawl, Mizoram earlier this year

Fearing that Shah will attempt to canvass for the proposed Bill, the state’s student bodies and NGO Coordination Committee have planned to oppose the visit carrying placards and waving black flags along the route to the city on that day.

The Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP), the state’s apex student body, has even planned to wear ‘pawndum’ (a traditional Mizo shawl worn at funerals) to show discontentment against the contentious Bill.

Mizoram BJP leaders at a press conference held at Atal Bhavan in Aizawl on Monday

Earlier this year, there was a mass protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill by student bodies and NGOs where effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then Union home minister Rajnath Singh were burnt. The Republic Day celebrations were also boycotted and several government officials were barred from entering the official celebration ground in state capital Aizawl on January 26 this year.

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