Dimapur, February 14: The ruling NDPP has appreciated the “wise decision” of the NDA Government not to table the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) in the Rajya Sabha while also justifying party MP in Lok Sabha absence in Parliament on January 8 when the Bill was passed in the lower house.
In a communiqué, the NDPP said the NDA Government has taken the wise decision not to table the Bill in the Rajya Sabha as a response to the desire of the people especially the indigenous people of the Northeast.
“We appreciate the decision of the Government of India,” it said.
Large sections of the people of the region including the NGOs, civil societies, political parties, etc including the Nagaland Government and the NDPP have opposed the bill in a democratic manner and the Centre has responded positively, which has been well appreciated by all sections, it said.
‘MP LS absence’
On the statement of the opposition NPF against the clarification issued by MP (LS), the NDPP accused the opposition party of always jumping their gun without proper verification and suffer from the “foot in mouth syndrome”.
If the NPF were serious about accusing the MP (LS) and the NDPP-PDA government to have voted for the CAB, perhaps they should have first obtained the list of business to be taken up during the winter session of Parliament where important issues like the CAB and matters relating to Nagaland were not listed initially. Therefore, since there were no important issues pertaining to Nagaland was listed to be taken up, the MP (LS) returned to Nagaland and was in Zunheboto from the 4th- 8th of January, attending to other matters, it said.
The NDPP said the CAB was included in the order of business of the Lok Sabha only on the evening of January 7 to be taken up on January 8 by which time it was not possible for the MP (LS) to return to Delhi to participate in the voting.
“The NPF have very publicly stated that they have “evidence” to prove that the Hon’ble MP (LS) voted for the CAB and that the NDPP should be ready with our proof. The proof has been laid down in public by the Hon’ble MP (LS) and now the opposition party wants to attack his statement without proper verification just so as to save their embarrassment,” it claimed.
On the opposition NPF blaming the Chief Minister of not having objected to the CAB in 2016 when he was the MP (LS) from the NPF party, the NDPP said the NPF seems to have forgotten that an MP is also bound by the dictates of the party he belongs to and “therefore, even in the case of Mr. Neiphiu Rio, he was directed by the party to adhere to the decisions of the party and not otherwise.”
Therefore, when the NPF led DAN government decided to remain silent on the matter, how could the MP have reacted otherwise? After all, it is an open secret as to how the NPF “high command” deals with disobedient members, it said.
The PDA and NDPP also expressed amusement at the NPF daring the government to “introduce a bill for streamlining ILP” on the floor of the house! It asked the NPF to first question its leader TR Zeliang as to why he decided to turn a deaf ear to the pleas of various student organizations and CSOs to implement the ILP and the BERFA to the entire of the state when he was the Chief Minister of Nagaland.
“Why is it that the NPF and Mr. T. R. Zeliang are so conveniently trying to pass on the buck to the government of the day when they know very well that they had failed to deliver to the people?” it said.
The NDPP said the PDA government has already instituted a high-power committee to look into the matter and will very soon come out with a policy to address the issue.
‘Art 371A coverage’
The NDPP also expressed shock that the NPF is still being vocal about how Article 371A does not cover everything and that “we are not protected”. It said being the oldest regional party in the region and in the state, it is expected of the NPF to be the guardians and upholders of Article 371A but instead “they are the ones who are trying to further dilute the provisions and protection of Article 371A!”
The communiqué said the NDPP and the PDA believes that since the CAB has lapsed due to it not being tabled in the upper House of Parliament, it is time for every right thinking Naga citizen to work towards strengthening the provisions of Article 371A and protect our future rather than try to dilute these provisions for the mere sake of gaining political mileage.
Claiming that the PDA government and the NDPP have clearly stated that it is its commitment to work towards strengthening the ILP regime along with protecting the provisions of Article 371A, the communiqué assured that it will ensure that this commitment continues to protect the rights and privileges of every Naga and our lands.
On the statement of NPCC president, the NDPP alleged that Therie’s statement has again brought to light the double standards of the Congress party. It said the vote on the CAB on January 8 was a voice vote and not a division of vote but the Congress party very conveniently decided to walk out of the House without participating in the vote.
“Had they been serious about the CAB and its effects, they should have voted on the floor of the house regardless of whether they win or lose. Rather, by walking out, it brings to question as to whether the Congress party are actually serious about the implementation/non-implementation of the CAB, since by walking out they had given the ruling NDA government the freedom of passing the Bill without any opposition,” it claimed.
On the NPCC questioning the stand of the Chief Minister on the issue of the CAB, the NDPP asked the PCC president to first examine the intentions of his party high command before accusing the CM and the NDPP-PDA government of betraying the people.
On the NPCC accusation against the NDPP and PDA government of having voted for the CAB in the Lok Sabha, when MP (LS) has come out with a public clarification that he had not voted, the NDPP said it would bode well for the NPCC to first set its house in order and gain access to the floor of the house by getting a representative elected before pointing its fingers at the government.
(Page News Service)