Cong stages protest against CAB, demands withdrawal


IMPHAL, 9th Jan: Manipur Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC) staged a sit-in protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in front of Congress Bhawan here on Wednesday.
MPCC vice-president MLA Loken, who led the protest, recounted that MPCC organised various awareness campaigns in several assembly constituencies over possible impact of the bill ever since it was introduced in the Parliament. At that time, chief minister Biren accused the Congress party of creating issues out of nothing. However, the allegation of the BJP government did not deter the party and a delegation of MPCC went to the national capital and submitted a memorandum against the bill to the JPC chairman Rajendra Aggarwal. Though the delegation could not meet the Prime Minister, a copy of the memorandum was submitted to the PM’s office and personally urged union home minister Rajnath Singh against the bill while submitting another memorandum copy to him also.
Despite such protests from political parties and CSOs, the NDA government went ahead and passed the bill, he lamented and demanded the Centre to review or withdraw the bill at the earliest.
He also warned of launching a series of intense agitation along with the people of the state if the Bill is not withdrawn or reviewed.
Patsoi MLA Ak Mirabai said that Congress party had already cautioned the state government over the matter, which poses threat to indigenous communities of the state.
Unfortunately, the government did not pay any attention and passed the bill, she said, while demanding withdrawal of the bill.
Several MPCC members and workers also participated in the protest.
Former deputy chief minister and AICC CWC member Gaikhangam, while observing that the bill has the potential to create a civil unrest in the country, especially in the northeast including Manipur, has called upon all political parties to keep aside their political differences and fight unitedly against the “unconstitutional” bill.
Calling the bill as the worst law of the country, the former MPCC president said in a press meet that the issue will become an international one if the BJP government does not withdraw it soon. In case, those countries mentioned in the bill start religious persecution on mass scale considering the religious tone of the policy, it could even start a world war, he contended.
Congress had already warned of the impact of the bill if passed by the parliament ever since it was introduced. Once the bill turns into an act, northeast states including Manipur would be the worst hit since these states have already been facing serious issue of illegal immigrants threatening the existence of indigenous people, Gaikhangam said, while slamming BJP for playing the card of vote bank politics against national interest.
Responding to posers regarding political scenario post the passage of the bill by the Lok Sabha, he said that a political re-alignment could emerge at the Centre. Alliances of NDA have started severing ties from NDA while many are voicing dissent against the bill. There could be even BJP members, who oppose the bill. As for the state, the BJP government should think over whether to continue supporting the party’s decision or protect the state. If it is for the protection of Manipur, then it should threaten the Centre to resign from the government unless the bill is withdrawn. It is now time to show if the state government has any sense of patriotism left, he said.
Regarding the Manipur People’s Protection Bill, Gaikhangam said that once the CAB turns into an act, the MPP bill will be useless since the new bill was introduced to supersede all existing acts. This is the reason why states like Meghalaya, Mizoram and Nagaland, which already have ILP system, are raising voice against the bill. No Act of state can remain above an Act passed by the Parliament, he maintained.
Meanwhile,MPCC vice-president MLA Kh Joykisan accused BJP of plotting to decimate small indigenous communities of the northeast region. After the Lok Sabha passed the bill, AGP left the alliance with BJP as the bill violates the Assam Accord of 1971, he pointed out.
Though union home minister Rajnath Singh spoke about Assam when he talked about the bill, he never mentioned Manipur, which is also facing the brunt of illegal immigrant, he said while questioning the reason for the state government’s silence over the matter. He also questioned the silence of BJP’s alliance in the state like NPP, LJP, AITC and NPF over the issue while stating that they should come up with their own stand at this juncture.
As for Congress, the party showed its stand against the bill by staging walk out from the parliament, he said and added that the party will always stand against it. He then called upon CSOs of the state not to fear the diktat of the BJP government in the state and raise their voice against the issue. People will now know if the Biren government truly stands for the protection of the state and its people, he added.

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