Former Meghalaya Chief Minister and Congress leader Dr Mukul Sangma on Sunday slammed the BJP-led NDA Government for trying to get the Citizenship Bill, 2016 passed in the Parliament.
Dr Mukul Sangma urged the regional parties and those from the Northeast, who are with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to scrutinise and audit the intend and agenda of the BJP and their comrades.
Speaking to reporters at Shillong, Mukul Sangma said that the issue (Citizenship Bill) cannot be taken lightly.
The Joint Parliamentary Committee which examined the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is slated to table it in Parliament on Monday.
“If regional parties say they are there to protect the interests of the indigenous people, it is time for them to scrutinise and audit the intent and agenda of the BJP and their comrades,” he said.
Accusing the BJP-led NDA Government in Delhi of creating a vitiating environment, Mukul Sangma said, “With their anti-people decision to proceed ahead with the proposed amendment of the Citizenship Act, how will it help the nation? Did they not know the history, the culmination of the Assam accord? What was happening prior to Assam Accord, how many people have died and how this whole turmoil has actually vitiated the whole environment in the whole Northeast and the result was that we lack behind.”
The former Meghalaya CM also said: “We have paid the price after partition. The problem is the bankruptcy of knowledge about the huge diversity of this great nation. The people who are in Delhi like Narendra Modi do not know about the integrity of this great nation. When you put them at the helm of governance, this is what we see,” adding, “Now this is the time for everyone to take a call. Do we want to be silent spectators to what is going to happen? We know what will happen if this particular Bill is passed in Parliament and let us have the power to anticipate. We as policy makers must actually look at the fallout of every decision.”
Asking the NDA Government not to ignore Northeast, Mukul Sangma said that northeastern States are frontier States that insulate the national security.
“They must understand the value and importance of frontier states. Which states whether Meghalaya, Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, or Sikkim do not have international border? Anti-national forces always tried to make inroads into this region and engaged in their anti-India and anti-national campaigns and how these states have withstood the test of time and restored peace and ensure stability and contributed to the integration of this great nation. Therefore, this issue (Citizenship Amendment Bill) cannot be taken lightly,” he said.
The former Meghalaya CM was surprised at statements of those who are aligning with the BJP like Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
“I am amused by the statement of Sonowal who say I will protect. Can he dictate terms to Narendra Modi who is taking decision there? Sonowal is saying don’t worry is a tamasha. He should resign from the BJP and quit his post. He is there by virtue of what, by virtue of his long innings in AASU and positioned himself in a manner he reckoning in political spectrum of the region. In the name of protecting the interest of the indigenous people, the communities now these people have become Judas, he must resign and say look Narenda Modiji I am not going to be party to this anti-people decision. Similarly all our other friends whether it is in Manipur or in Nagaland whether it is in Mizoram or whether it is in anywhere across the NE, we should send a very strong signal if we love our people if we really feel that we are there for the people and to protect the future generation from being extinct.
On bandh called in the Northeast to oppose the Bill, Mukul said, “we are with the people and we will not get distracted by any other issue. The issue deserves focus and undivided attention because we are talking about the region and the nation and about unity and integration of the nation. Such decision is only for their personal and political gain which is dangerous and anti-national. Whoever loves this region should resist from participating in this move of the Modi-led NDA government.”
He also alleged that the BJP is desperate to remain in power, and resorted to all kinds of tactics and used all kinds of forces under their command.
Asked if regional parties should leave the NDA, Mukul said, “Most of the regional parties are committed to protect the indigenous people. There was a time when regional parties thought that since Congress is a national party, they thought that they should align together (with the BJP) and fight against the Congress. But today what is happening across the nation? By seeing this, they will be able have their own judegment whether it is the Congress or the BJP which is anti-indigenous people and adopting agendas or policies which are going to vitiate and divide the nation.”
Mukul Sangma also claimed that the Congress never played vote bank politics, but got support or natural reaction of people and the electorates because of its policies, but not vote bank politics.
“What is more important today is to fight against those forces which are trying to vitiate this harmony and mutual co-existence,” Mukul Sangma added.