Gangtok: Former Sikkim chief minister and Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) chief Pawan Kumar Chamling along with senior party functionaries submitted a memorandum against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) to governor Ganga Prasad on Friday.
The memorandum said, “With the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019, a deep sense of fear and insecurity has arisen in the minds of the people of Sikkim. The people at large are very apprehensive that in case the said Act is extended and enforced in Sikkim, the same would adversely affect the rights and interest of the Sikkimese people and may also dilute the very spirit of Article 371F of the Constitution of India.”
Chamling stated that the cause of confusion is due to the “selective exemption of the extension and enforcement of the said Act” which has been provided to some Northeastern states such as Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and some areas of Assam, Meghalaya and Tripura based on the criteria such as Tribal Autonomous District Council (TADC) and Inner Line Permit (ILP) which are constituted under the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of Indian. However, Sikkim, which is also a part of Northeast has not been specifically referred to or mentioned as a state which falls under the exempted category or exempted from the extension and enforcement of the citizenship law.
He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union home minister Amit Shah had given full assurance that Sikkim will be exempted from the purview or enforcement of CAA, and he is confident that assurances given by the Centre will be fully respected and implemented in “principle and spirit”.
On behalf of SDF, Chamling appealed governor Prasad “to ensure that Sikkim be exempted from the extension and enforcement of the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 as per the relevant provisions of law to uphold the very essence of Article 371F in letter and spirit in the interest of the different sections of the people of Sikkim”.