Guwahati: A delegation of 11 political parties has submitted a memorandum to the Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and urged to incorporate a safeguard clause in the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to protect the indigenous people of the northeast in general and Manipur in particular.
The delegation has been led by Manipur's BJP Chief Minister N Biren Singh and BJP's state unit President and Rajya Sabha member K Bhabananda. They said that the Centre and the BJP claims that the controversial bill has enough safeguards for local communities and their cultures.
The political parties have decided to submit the memorandum to the Centre after an all parties meeting held at Imphal on January 28. The controversial Citizenship bill has sparked protests across the northeastern region and underlined fault lines in BJP units in the region.
The meeting which has come up with the resolution to urge the Centre for withdrawal of the said bill said that it should incorporate a safeguarding clause in the bill before it is placed in the Rajya Sabha so that after it is converted to an Act it should have an adequate safeguard for the protection of the indigenous people of the Northeastern region in general and Manipur in particular.
The memorandum stated that if the above clause is not incorporated in the existing bill in the form of an amendment, the people of Manipur and other parts of the Northeastern region would fear that the demographic balance will seriously be affected.
The clarification made by the union home minister of taking a final decision to grant citizenship to the migrants would rest with the concerned state government has been welcomed by the delegates and said that it would only be appropriate and add strength to the clarification if a separate safeguard clause is incorporated in the bill.
The opposition Congress party did not attend the all political parties meeting in Imphal. Leaders of nine political parties – including the state units of the CPI, RSP, CPI(M), NCP, Forward Bloc, BSP, JD(S) and Peoples’ Resurgence and Justice Alliance who attended the meeting, refused to join the delegation to Delhi. They had demanded the withdrawal of the Bill and summoning a special session of the assembly on the issue.
Also Read: Manipur News