CM hopes MPP Bill nullifies CAB impact in state

IMPHAL, 9TH Jan: With apparent reference to the raging protests across the north-eastern states, including Manipur, against the Centre’s move to enact the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, chief minister N Biren Singh has declared that the government of Manipur will protect the indigenous people of the state at any cost.
Speaking as chief guest of the 185th death anniversary observance of Maharaj Gambhir Singh at Langthabal, Imphal West on Wednesday, the chief minister disclosed that a ministerial team will soon leave for New Delhi to meet Central leaders and seek their assent to the Manipur People’s Protection Bill, 2018 (MPP Bill), which was passed by the state assembly.
While assuring that the state government will neither disappoint the people nor betray the masses’ trust reposed on the government, he asserted that the ministerial team will exert tremendous pressure upon union ministers concerned in order to get their approval for enactment of the MPP Bill prior to enforcement of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill that the Lok Sabha passed on Tuesday.
Further stating that the government will not go against the aspiration and wishes of the people, he confided that in the aftermath of people’s protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in the entire Northeast India, the government has started to hold a series of meetings since yesterday (Tuesday).
The CM asserted that the Centre cannot impose any policies which are not acceptable to the state government regardless of the country having a federal structure.
Biren reiterated that the government will stand by its people and the decision of the State Legislative Assembly.
He also announced that the state cabinet will take a definite decision with regard to the Bill issue on Thursday and then depute the ministerial team to call on the Central leaders.
Conceding that he was surprised to learn about the sudden passage of the CAB in the Lok Sabha, Biren pointed out that the Bill was actually proposed by the then Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh around 2006 in order to provide constitutional shield to Indian origin people settling in some of the neighbouring countries and are facing atrocities in their adopted countries.
While explaining that the Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to eligible foreign nationals through the naturalisation process, he maintained that the present state government is well aware of anxiety of the masses due to influx of outsiders.
Since 1980, Manipur had been witnessing various public agitations, including violent ones, to demand reintroduction of inner line permit system or a similar mechanism to protect the indigenes and as such the new government took the initiative to pass the MPP Bill, Biren explained.
The Chief Minister highlighted that the present government, after patiently hearing the voices and considering the sentiments of the people, had already passed the Manipur People’s Protection Bill 2018 to preserve the rights and protect the indigenous people of the state.
Further stating that he along with ministerial colleagues and party MLAs will be attending a national conference on January 12, Biren reiterated that he will take advantage of assemblage of national leaders in order to get their support to the MPP Bill.
While appealing to people not to have fear psychosis, anxiety and apprehension regarding the Citizenship Amendment Bill, he conveyed that the government will always keep its door open to discuss any sensitive issues detrimental to the state and its people.
He also contended that implementation of the Manipur Conservation of Paddy Land and Wetlands Act, 2014 is aimed at protecting land and natural resources from being usurped by outsiders along with declaring that the issue of rapid increase of non-local population in Jiribam, Moreh or in commercial pockets of Imphal is not a recent development.
As the BJP government is barely two years old it would be gross injustice to hold the party accountable for spurt in number of outsiders, he maintained and described as lamentable that the past governments ignored the need for setting up multiple police check points at Jiribam and Moreh areas.
Reflecting on observance of the death anniversary, Biren announced that the memorial complex of Maharaj Gambhir Singh would be developed into a distinct park cum Museum. History and timeline of various Kings since 33 A.D will be engraved on the walls of the Park so that people can easily understand the history of Manipur, he maintained and appealed to intellectuals, experts and historians to support the government’s initiative.
Lauding sacrifice and courage of Maharaj Gambhir Singh, Nara Singh, Heerachandra and other unsung heroes of Manipur, the Chief Minister said: “What we are today is because of the selfless sacrifice made by our forefathers.”
Stating that some people and communities are trying to rewrite history of Manipur, he stressed that history can never be distorted as history is the account of the facts happened in the past. “We need to re-read and introspect the history so as to bring peace, harmony and integrity in the state, he added.
As a part of the function, the Chief Minister unveiled the statues of Meidingu Narasingh and Sana Heerachandra and led the gathering in paying floral tributes to the portraits of Maharaja Gambhir Singh and Maharaja Narasingh.
A contingent of Manipur Rifles offered guard of honour and gun salute and sounding of last post as a mark of respect to the Gambhir Singh, Nara Singh and other unsung heroes.
Among others, art and culture minister L Jayantakumar Singh, CAF&PD minister Karam Shyam, Titular King of Manipur Leisemba Sanajaoba, ministers, MLAs, Chief Secretary, DGP, top civil and police officials attended the function.

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