The office of the chief electoral officer of Mizoram sought clarification within 24 hours from the president of People’s Right to Information and Development Implementation Society of Mizoram (PRI), an anti-corruption watchdog-turned political party, as regards making ‘secession’ as a poll plank.
As per reports, TBC Lalvenchhunga, a former Navy sailor, is going to the hustings for the lone Lok Sabha seat in Mizoram with ‘secession’ as his key mantra.
“The issues raised in the matter involve unity and integrity of the country. It has also been observed that earlier statements issued by your party in Aizawl and Champai districts have openly spoken about secession from India. In light of the above, you are hereby directed to clarify the position of your party on the said matter for further necessary action at our end,” said the letter issued by Krishna Mohan Uppu, additional CEO, Mizoram.
Thirty-six-year-old Lalvenchhuna, who served in the Navy between 2001 to January 2016, said if elected, he would table a private members bill in the Parliament seeking Right to Secession, not from the country, but exempting Mizoram from BJP’s Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The former sailor said that the indigenous Mizos had no other option but to raise such a demand as BJP was trying to welcome illegal migrants from Bangladesh (the Buddhists Chakmas), whereas the government was imposing restrictions on free movement of Mizos living in Chin state of neighbouring Myanmar and Mizoram.
The Citizenship Amendment Bill triggered a huge cacophony in the northeastern states, especially Assam, following which the bill was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha.
The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 7 last but was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha due to strong protests in the Northeast (including Mizoram) and Congress’ opposition. Mizoram had witnessed demand for sovereignty during the protest against the bill in December and January.