The ruling Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) on Thursday said union home minister Amit Shah on October 5 reiterated in Aizwal what he had declared at the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) meeting in Guwahati on September 9.
The party, in a release, said Shah had declared that a provision would be included in the Citizenship Amendment Bill to protect the northeastern states, particularly Nagaland, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh, which is a much welcome decision.
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However, Opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF), in their haste to attack the PDA government, chief minister Neiphiu Rio and Lok Sabha MP Tokheho Yepthomi, had failed to actually understand what that provision is going to be, the NDPP said.
The ruling party was reacting to the statement of the NPF which appeared in a section of local dailies on October 9 attacking the chief minister, the MP and the PDA government over an issue which, it said, had been dealt with many times in the past few months.
It said the union home minister had reiterated that the northeastern states would be protected through provisions in the proposed Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
The union home minister also said the Inner Line Permit (ILP) system which is in force in the NE states will be incorporated in the proposed Bill, thus vindicating the stand of the PDA government in Nagaland that the ILP regime and Article 371(A) will protect Nagaland.
It pointed out that Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland are protected by the ILP regime and that it was because of such provisions that the Home Minister had specifically mentioned these states.
The NDPP said NPF should now answer to the people why they have time and again held the stand and thoroughly tried to mislead the people that the ILP regime under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation 1873 cannot protect Nagas and Nagaland from the proposed CAB.
“What was the then Chief Minister T.R. Zeliang doing when the proposed CAB was being formulated in Parliament in 2016 while the state was under his guard?”
“What was the ruling NPF party doing that they have suddenly decided to become the guardians of the Naga people against the proposed CAB when the Bill was actually drawn during their reign?” the NDPP asked.
The ruling party alleged that the government of the day ran by the NPF at that point of time did not even utter a squeak of protest while today it is trying to portray itself as the champions of the people.
“Perhaps they were too scared of the government of India and the NDA government of cutting off their lifeline of funds,” the NDPP said.