Temjen Imna Alo
Temjen Imna Along. Imahge credit - Twitter

Nagaland higher & technical education minister Temjen Along on Tuesday said the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019 will not affect Nagaland.

Temjen Imna Along said this while addressing the media at Dimapur after being re-elected as the Nagaland BJP president.

Along said Nagaland is protected under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873, which has given the state the right and power to select its citizens.

“Once and all, this should rest for Nagaland,” he said.

He said, “CAA is not an Act to take away our citizenship but it is an Act to apply for citizenship.”

Along recalled that union home minister Amit Shah briefed Naga leaders, including state Congress president, NSF and representatives of all political parties, before the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed.

“We were all satisfied what the union home minister had said. But after coming here when we say CAA will not affect us, they are vindictive towards us. That is wrong,” he said.

He said the Act has been politicized and made an issue.

“No one is coming forward to discuss the issue as we are afraid of speaking the truth,” Along said.

The Nagaland BJP president clarified that the non-Nagas would not get any rights over property, culture, and tradition of the Nagas through the Act.

The minister sought to know how it would affect Naga citizenship.

“Do you non-Nagas will get right over land, culture, tradition, property in the state,” he asked.

However, Along said, “We are sympathetic towards some states which may be affected. But they should have their own constitutional protections and ask for it.”

Saying that Manipur has been given ILP which was not there till a month ago, he said they are happy that their indigenous rights have been protected.

“We have ILP for generations. We are the ones who are not implementing it rightly. That is the biggest problem. The problem lies within us,” he said.

The Nagaland BJP president said he along with the new team of party office-bearers will do the best to bridge the gap between the Naga people and the Centre, especially on CAA and NRC.

“We will try to fight for the needs of our people and will also try to bridge the gap,” he added.

Along was re-elected the state BJP president for the tenure 2020-2023.

Two nominations were filed for the post.

But he was re-elected following a unanimous decision by BJP national general secretary Sushri Saroj Pandey and BJP MLA from Bihar and party’s Sikkim in-charge, Nitin Nabin.

State BJP leader Dr Shukato Sema also filed his nomination for the post.

State transport and civil aviation minister P. Paiwang was elected the BJP National Council member.

State BJP general secretary James Vizo and other party leaders were also present on the occasion.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: bhadragogoi@yahoo.com