Dimapur, February 12: The Naga People’s Front (NPF) has dared the NDPP-led PDA Government to table a Bill that include Dimapur under ILP regulations and pass it in the ensuing assembly session.
“If it wishes to streamline the ILP regulations and include Dimapur within the ambit of the same, the Government should not hesitate to table the proposed Bill and pass it in the upcoming Assembly Session as no one is stopping them from doing that,” challenged the NPF press bureau in a communique.
On the contrary, the NPF accused the PDA Government of trying to confuse the Naga people “by underscoring that under any circumstances the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 is passed, the Nagas were protected under ILP and Article 371 A and upholding it in the two Cabinet decisions of 5th June 2018 and 7th Jan. 2019.”
The PDA Government is of the view that Nagas can take shelter under Article 371A and BEFR 1873, but these provisions cannot stop a person from obtaining Indian Citizenship anywhere in India, the NPF said.
“Simply to wash off their hands, PDA Government cannot include the two special provisions in every decision and resolution they take,” it said.
The communiqué also stated that if Lok Sabha MP, Tokheho Yepthomi belonging to the NDPP did not vote in favour of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, the NDPP should come out clean instead of asking NPF party to provide proofs.
The NPF claimed that immediately after the Cabinet decision was taken on 5th June 2018, Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and his Cabinet team rushed to Delhi and reported to Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh that the PDA Government had decided not to oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 to which the Home Minister reciprocated with “a big congratulation”.
“After the Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019; the third Cabinet decision was taken on January 28, 2019 to oppose the said Bill along with the concept that the Nagas are safe under Article 371 A and BEFR, 1873. As a follow up action, a Consultative Meeting was held at Chumukedima on January 31, 2019 to regularise the Cabinet decision which however was self-contradictory.”
The NPF claimed that at the consultative meeting, in presence of all tribal leaders and NGOs, the Chief Minister accused the NPF DAN Government of being silent when the Citizenship Amendment Bill was tabled in the Lok Sabha during 2016. “But the fact of the matter is that the said Bill was proposed in the Lok Sabha on July 15, 2016 and referred to a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on August 12, 2016 when present Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio was the Lok Sabha MP representing Nagaland in the Lok Sabha from May 2014 to February 2018,” it stated.
Asking if the present Chief Minister intended to imply that the then NPF led DAN Government under TR Zeliang at that point of time should have protested while the said Bill was still under scrutiny by the JPC, the NPF reiterated that Rio himself was the lone Lok Sabha MP belonging to the NPF party at that point of time “and shifting the blame to the NPF Party today shows his ignorance on what was going on in the Parliament during his tenure.”
Stating that as the MP representing Nagaland, it was his bounden duty to have consulted the State Government and taken into confidence the voice of the Naga people as the said Bill was referred to the JPC which took over a year, the NPF claimed that Rio failed to do this as he was hardly in Parliament and “was busy master-minding crisis, one after another, to topple the then NPF led DAN Government in the State.”
“Therefore, the PDA Government should respect the intellect of the Nagas and desist itself from misguiding the Nagas any further,” it added. (Page News Service)