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CAA strengthens ILP, BEFR: Kenye

KG Kenye  Nagaland Rajya Sabha MP
  • Claims CAB 2019 different from CAB 2016
  • Resigns as NPF secretary general

Kohima, December 20: The lone Rajya Sabha member from Nagaland, K G Kenye today claimed that the Citizenship Amendment Act strengthens the Inner Line Permit and continuation of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1873, because of which he supported the passage of CAB 2019 in the parliament.
The Naga People’s Front (NPF), the only opposition party in the Nagaland Assembly, along with Naga tribal bodies and civil societies had been opposing the CAB 2016 and CAB 2019. But Kenye, who is also the secretary general of NPF, voted in favour of the Bill along with NPF’s Lok Sabha member from Outer Manipur Parliamentary constituency, Dr Lorho S Pfoze.
Justifying his stand at a press conference here Friday evening, Kenye said his priority is the protection of the rights of Nagaland and its people.
He said that NPF as a regional political party had been opposing CAB 2016 because it did not have any protection and regularization of BEFR 1873 and ILP regime existent in Nagaland, but the Central Government upholding its assurances has strengthened EBFR 1983 and ILP by including clauses into the principal Citizenship Act through its 9th Amendment as Citizenship Amendment Act.
“Continuation of BEFR Act 1873 had not undergone any enactment in the Parliament, and we feared that it could be easily withdrawn if so decided by a mere resolution of the Union Cabinet like Article 370 and Assam Accord, and therefore we were saying we are vulnerable to CAB,” he said.
He maintained that the inclusion of ILP and BEFR clauses in the principal Act has strengthened the protection of Nagaland state from illegal immigrants and it has given supreme power to the State Government to stringently execute ILP.
“Our demands have been achieved and now we are fully protected with the enactment of BEFR and ILP in the principal Citizenship Act, because of which I decided to support CAB 2019,” he said.
On being pointed as to why NPF as a party and he as an MP had never highlighted in the past that the party would support CAB if BEFR and ILP is incorporated, he said “I take all the responsibility for the lapse.” He went on to state that the prime concern for the State of Nagaland was protection from influx of illegal immigrants which has been achieved through CAA 2019.
He urged the Naga people to study the changes and whether it gives the State more power or degrades the existing BEFR Act.
On the show cause notice of the party, Kenye lamented that it was issued without understanding the factual changes in CAB 2019 from 2016.
He said that while in Delhi for the parliament session, NPF president Dr Shurhozelie had called him after coming across his interview with a TV channel where he had said that he was ready to support CAB 2019 if the Union Government includes BEFR and ILP in the amendment.
Kenye said the party president had asked him to reconsider the decision, but he told Dr Liezietsu that there are changes in CAB 2016 and 2019, which he would be able to explain only after returning to Nagaland.
Kenye went on to allege that on reaching Kohima, he has already sought appointment with the party president for an audience with the party leaders to explain his stand, but it was ‘flatly rejected’.
“I don’t understand as to why the President is not accepting my request,” he said.
Meanwhile, Kenye also informed that following the receipt of show cause notice, he has tendered his resignation from the post of secretary general of the party Friday afternoon.
“It is a very rare case that a high profile party office bearer should fall under the DAC scanner as my integrity has become questionable. Therefore, I am taking this step so as to save the prestige and image of the party,” Kenye wrote in his resignation addressed to party president. (Page News Service)