NPCC says citizenship bill not acceptable

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HT Correspondent

DIMAPUR, Jan 10: The Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) on Thursday said the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is not acceptable to Nagaland as it clearly defies the interests of tribals and indigenous inhabitants, particularly in the Northeast.

In a release on Thursday, NPCC president K. Therie said the Congress party stands by the 1963 electoral roll as the basis of settlement in Nagaland.

“We have conveyed our stand that we do not approve of the Bill at any cost, when it was introduced last year,” Therie said.

He said the BJP’s intent to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan on religious grounds is encouraging further infiltration in the Northeast. The region is already grappling with a wide range of issues stemming from illegal immigrants, including changes in demography and dilution of inherent social, cultural and linguistic properties to reduction of the indigenous people to a minority status.

The NPCC demanded that the state unit of BJP resign on the issue of the bill and for failure to resolve the Naga political issue.

The NPCC feared that the Nagaland cabinet’s resolution to merely urge the Centre to re-examine and review the bill without spelling out any proposal may not yield results. It described the appeal as an attempt to walk the tightrope not knowing which side to jump.

Therie also said chief minister Neiphiu Rion should not mislead the people by confusing them with the provisions of Art 371(A) and Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873.

“Nagaland is already overcrowded with infiltrators. The Youth have no jobs and youth exodus has become a major concern for Congress. Our boys and girls don’t see any future in Nagaland,” he said.

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