Aizawl: Mizoram chief minister and Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga on Monday said his party had instructed its lone Lok Sabha member C Lalrosanga to vote in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was passed by Parliament last week before it became an Act.
The chief minister’s clarification came at a time when certain youth groups are protesting against the amended law and people are blaming the ruling MNF and C Lalrosanga for voting in favour of the Bill in the parliament.
Addressing a function marking the observance exodus day of the MNF at the party office here, Zoramthanga said all political parties, civil society groups, churches and students vociferously opposed the Citizenship Amendment Bill, before it became an Act, and demanded that Mizoram be exempted from the purview of the bill.
“We suggested our MP to vote in favour of the bill as the Centre has fulfilled our demands to exempt Mizoram from the ambit of the Bill,” the chief minister said.
He also added that representatives of all political parties and NGOs met Union home minister Amit Shah during his visit to Mizoram and told him that the people of the state were strongly opposed to Bill.
“I personally met both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi and asked them to exempt Mizoram from the ambit of the bill,” the chief minister said.
He said that initially they were not fully convinced with the Home Minister’s comment that the government would take measure not to affect Mizoram, as the draft bill was yet to be tabled in the parliament.
Later, the Centre exempted the inner line areas and sixth scheduled areas of the Northeast from the purview of the bill, he said.
“It is wrong and immature to oppose to the amended Citizenship law after the Centre agreed with and fulfilled the demands and aspirations of the Mizos,” Zoramthanga said.
He added that his party instructed the MP to vote in favour of the bill to show how understanding and mature are the Mizos.
Meanwhile, a group of youths on Monday staged sit-in demonstration to register their protest against the amended citizenship law near the MNF office here.
During the protest spearheaded by Zoram Revolution Movement, protesters blamed the MNF led state government and C. Lalrosanga for voting in favour of the new law, and demanded the MP’s resignation.
C. Lalrosanga, who is the lone Lok Sabha member from Mizoram, belonged to the ruling MNF.
A student leader from Women Polytechnic College in Aizawl, who took part at the protest, alleged both the MNF and its MP insulted the people of Mizoram by supporting the bill.
She also appealed to all youths in the state to come forward in the fight against the Citizenship (Amendment) act and show their solidarity with the rest of the country.
The protesters chanted slogans saying “BJP government down down,” “MNF government shame on you” and “Northeast unity long live.”
The protest went peaceful as there were no untoward incidents, police said.