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NPF slams Rio’s flip-flop on Citizenship Bill


Asks CM to confidently state the stand of PDA Govt

Dimapur, January 9: The NPF Legislature Party has expressed serious concern over what it alleged is the contradictory statements made by Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on the Citizenship Bill (Amendment) 2016.
“One moment the CM says we are protected and will not oppose the Bill, next he goes on to say that if it goes ‘against the interest of the Nagas’ he would oppose and now he seeks the Centre to ‘Re-examine and Review’. Would the Chief Minister of Nagaland for once, assuredly state as to what is the stand of the PDA government,” asked the NPF Legislature Party in a press release issued by its spokesperson Imkong L Imchen.
The NPF lawmakers said they are “deeply perturbed by the unstable and fickle mind” of the Chief Minister over the contradictory statements on Citizenship Bill (Amendment) 2016. “I shudder to think of the state of Nagas, should he continue to lead Nagaland at this pace and trend,” said the press release.
The NPF Legislature Party reminded that not long ago after the formation of the PDA Government, the cabinet had a sitting to deliberate on the issue of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, and Rio had boldly stated that they would not oppose the Bill, as the State of Nagaland is protected under Article 371(A) of the Constitution of India and Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873 (Inner Line Permit). Going further, the CM had taken his team of cabinet to Delhi to meet the Home Minister of India and categorically told the HM that he would not oppose the bill, the release claimed.
The NPF lawmakers said the party had downrightly refuted the claim of the Chief Minister and demanded that the Government of Nagaland oppose th Bill as the State of Nagaland is vulnerable vis-à-vis the illegal immigrants, and the repercussions of the controversial Bill would be disastrous to the future of Nagas.
Stating that the NPF party, with genuine concern for the welfare and future of the Nagas, has in the last few days raised the issue again, the release said the PDA Government had subsequently in a cabinet meeting on January 7 again deliberated on the issue and “disappointingly” the decision of the cabinet was “to urge the Centre to re-examine and review” the controversial bill.
No mention were made as in what form to ‘re-examine and review’ as the Bill has been passed in the Lok Sabha, it said.
The NPF reminded that the party had sought to raise the issue in the 2nd session of the Assembly and accordingly the subject was listed in the business list of the day but the Speaker of the house refused to let the NPF MLAs to delve on the subject. It also reminded that the Leader of the NPF Legislature party, TR Zeliang had written a letter to the Chief Minister on this subject on 16th July 2018 seeking clarification on the stand of PDA Government.
“Opportunist leaders are cowards and would always lean on the winning side no matter the peril and would never risk his position for the posterity and well being of his people. And this is exactly what Mr.Rio is doing despite the clear indication of the dangers that awaits the future of Nagas, should the Bill be passed in Rajya Sabha and assented by the President of India,” the release said.
Stating that while the Naga populace is crying politically or otherwise to defend its integrity and identity at any cost, the NPF said the Centre has brought about a legal passage for the illegal immigrants to swarm the North eastern states and in particular the State of Nagaland. It expressed fear that the much talked about Article 371(A) of the Constitution of India shall also become redundant should this bill be passed and becomes a law.
“The PDA government of Nagaland, headed by Mr. Rio will be solely answerable to the posterity of the Naga people. He has not uttered a single word against this controversial Citizenship Bill (Amendment) 2016. Rather he has surreptitiously supported the Bill at the expense of the Naga people so that he can continue to cling on to his dilapidated Chair which will eventually crush on its own.”
“When the whole of Northeastern States India is burning and crying for remedy to this Bill, the state government of Nagaland is playing dumb and deaf which is setting a bad precedent and will go down in the history book for the younger generation to read of the betrayal and stoic attitude which this PDA government maintained when it had the opportunity to do something about it today,” it added. (Page News Service)