Citizenship Bill will create turmoil in NE: O Ibobi

Imphal, Jan 10: Congress Legislature Party leader and former Chief Minister, Okram Ibobi Singh today said Prime Minister Narendra Modi's recent visit to Manipur and Assam has led to serious crisis in the north eastern region. 

Speaking to the media at Congress office here today, Ibobi said the BJP is trying to pass the Citizenship Bill and it will cause serious human crisis in the region as Manipur and the north eastern states are surrounded by foreign countries in all sides.

"The words and deeds of Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding north east are different," Ibobi said. "PM Modi should not think that the people of the region are not aware of the issues. The sentiment, life of the people will be seriously affected as the region is already facing problems of large scale influx from the neighbouring countries," he added.

Ibobi said the indigenous people cannot be protected by mere words. The state government's decision to form a ministerial team to pressurise the Centre for it's assent to the Manipur People's Protection Bill 2018 before the Citizenship Amendment Bill comes into force, is illogical. "Once a bill is passed by Parliament, it will override any Act passed by any State Legislature,"said Ibobi.

As the indigenous people of Manipur have become minorities due to rise in population of immigrants the Manipur government had passed the Manipur People’s Protection Bill. Once enforced, the cut off year of immigrants will be 2014 while the Assam Accord had made 1972 as the base year to identify outsiders, Ibobi said. The entire north east may burn if the matter is not seriously dealt with, he added. Ibobi said the matter is above politics and all political parties should work together.

Kh Joykishan, MLA said the government should hold a special session of Assembly to discuss the matter. O Joy of Congress said the if there is any overlapping of laws, the Act passed by Parliament is Supreme under Art 254.

Congress spokesperson Ningombam Bupenda Meitei, said according to Article 245 (2) of Indian Constitution, the Central Law, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, if becomes an Act, in February, 2019, will overwrite and prevail over the state law, Manipur People's Protection Bill passed by Manipur Legislative Assembly, even if the state legislature's Bill becomes an Act.

Bupenda saluted Meghalaya CM & NPP Prez. Sangma Conrad for breaking an alliance with BJP and urged him to withdraw his 4 NPP Ministers from N Biren Singh government in Manipur. With the passing of The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2019 in Lok Sabha , the future of the indigenous people of the North East India and the philosophy of secularism in India is embroiled in a state of dark gloomy days which are yet to come he added.

Meanwhile, various political parties, students, bodies, civil organisations have opposed the Bill. (UNI)