Opposition Congress on Tuesday termed Mizoram chief minister and Mizoram National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga as a “liar”.
The Congress said the CM was “lying” in regard to the stand of the political parties and churches, which never sought exemption from the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2019 rather demanded that the bill be not introduced in the Parliament.
The Congress came down heavily on Zoramthanga for his claim that the ruling party directed Mizoram’s lone Lok Sabha member C. Lalrosanga to vote in favour of the CAB.
During a meeting at the Mizoram National Front (MNF) office in Aizawl on Monday, Zoramthanga said Lalrosanga was asked to vote in favour of the bill as the Centre has “fulfilled the aspirations of the people Mizoram”.
Zoramthanga also said the MP voted in favour of the bill because the Centre “exempted Mizoram from the purview of the CAB as per the wishes of all political parties, NGOs, churches and student bodies”.
During the MNF meeting, Zoramthanga said all political parties, NGOs, churches and students’ bodies have strongly opposed the bill and demanded that Mizoram be exempted from the purview of the bill.
In a statement, the party said it has been strongly opposing the bill (now Act) since it was introduced by former union home minister Rajnath Singh in 2016 because it was “anti-secular” and “against the basic principle of the Constitution”.
“The main demand put forward by the Congress before the Centre was not to introduce the citizenship bill and not only that Mizoram should be exempted from the purview of the bill,” the statement said.
The Congress also said the Mizoram Presbyterian Church of India, in its recently concluded conference, passed a resolution opposing the bill and all members of the church, at the behest of Mizoram synod, had sought divine intervention not to pass the bill.
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The CAB, 2019 became an Act after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bill.
“The Mizoram synod also decided to write to the Prime Minister and governors of different states regarding the bill. It has not thought of raising the ‘exemption’ demand,” Congress said in the statement.
The Congress further accused Zoramthanga of being a “liar” as he had promised to withdraw from North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) if the Centre pushes to introduce the citizenship bill.
“Mizoram has no reason to oppose the amended law as it excluded Mizoram as per the desire of the people. It would be wrong and childish to oppose it again after the Centre met our demands,” Zoramthanga had said.
Due to pressure from various organizations in the Northeast, the Centre has kept the Inner Line Permit (ILP) areas and the Sixth Schedule areas of the region out of the purview of the amended citizenship law.
Certain groups in Mizoram are of the view that exemption of the state from the ambit of the new law was not enough to protect the state.
They said Mizoram is still vulnerable to infiltration as long as the entire Northeast is not exempted from the ambit of the law.
They also opposed the new law as it seeks to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants on religious lines, which is against the Indian Constitution.