Nagaland Pradesh Congress Committee (NPCC) on Thursday said the Citizenship Bill, 2016 was not acceptable to Nagaland as it clearly defied the interests of tribals and indigenous inhabitants in the Northeast.
In a release on Thursday, NPCC president, K Therie said the Congress party stood by the 1963 electoral roll as the basis of settlement in Nagaland.
“We conveyed our stand that we would not approve of the Bill at any cost, when it was introduced last year,” Therie said.
He said the BJP’s intent to grant citizenship to illegal immigrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan on religious grounds was encouraging further infiltration in the Northeast.
The region is already grappling with a wide range of issues stemming from illegal immigrants, including changes in demography and dilution of inherent social, cultural and linguistic properties to reduction of the indigenous people to a minority status.
The NPCC demanded that the state unit of BJP resign on the issue of the bill and for the failure of the Centre to resolve the Naga political issue.
The NPCC feared that the Nagaland cabinet’s resolution to merely urge the Centre to re-examine and review the bill without spelling out any proposal may not yield results. It described the appeal as an attempt to walk the tightrope not knowing which side to jump.
Therie also said chief minister Neiphiu Rio should not mislead the people by confusing them with the provisions of Art 371(A) and Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation, 1873.
“Nagaland is already overcrowded with infiltrators. The youths have no jobs and youth exodus has become a major concern for Congress. Our boys and girls don’t see any future in Nagaland,”he said.