No CAB on RS menu: BJP; Bill fear genuine: CM
IMPHAL, 8th Feb: Chief Minister N Biren categorically stated that the government strongly opposes the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 until a clause is inserted that Manipur will not be affected by it or Northeast region will be exempted under the CAB or assent is given to Manipur People's Bill.
Meanwhile, allaying public apprehension regarding the Bill, BJP Manipur Pradesh president and Rajya Sabha MP K Bhabananda claimed said that the Centre will not table the Bill in Rajya Sabha.
Protests against the Bill intensified in the whole northeast region including Manipur after BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav said that the Bill will be tabled in the upper house of parliament as supplementary bill on February 12.
However, BJP state president Bhabananda told The People’s Chronicle that the party’s state unit received an assurance that the Bill will not be introduced in Rajya Sabha as supplementary bill.
Another leader of BJP state unit said that the bill will stand void since it will not be tabled in the House and as such the public apprehension will be removed.
Mention may be made here that a delegation of different political parties headed by BJP state unit president met union home minister Rajnath Singh and other MPs recently and submitted memorandum demanding withdrawal of the Bill or inserting a clause to exempt Manipur from the purview of the Bill.
A Congress team led by former chief minister O Ibobi is also at the national capital meeting leaders of different political parties to seek their support in defeating the Bill in case the NDA government tables it in Rajya Sabha. Besides, several student bodies under the aegis of NESO are also meeting political leaders over the issue since the Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8.
Earlier in the day, speaking at a loan distribution ceremony for fish farmers held at the CM’s secretariat, chief minister Biren conceded that the public apprehension over the Bill is genuine. He then clarified that the government is with the people and will fight for the people and the state. The government feels the sentiments of the people and CSOs over the Bill, he said and appealed to all to refrain from hurting the sentiments of other communities during agitations.
He further said that around 2800 fish farmers were identified for distribution of loans by different banks. For the first phase, 247 beneficiaries are provided loans during the function.
He also said that a cold storage unit for fish would be constructed soon and added that fish feed making machine would be installed soon. He then urged the farmers and beneficiaries to repay the loan in time so that they won't be facing any consequences. He also appealed to the bank officials to work out solution so that public can get loans without any hassles.
Despite having abundant water bodies, there is shortage of fish production in the state. 'Loktak Livelihood Mission' was launched to provide employment opportunities to unemployed youths and to increase fish production in the state, he said while hoping that the state will be self-sufficient in fish production by 2020 under the new mission. SBI, UBI, MSCB, UCO, Allahabad Bank, MRB and Punjab National Bank distributed loans to the beneficiaries during Friday’s function.
Fisheries minister N Kayasii, deputy speaker K Robindro, MANIDCO chairman Dr Y Radheshyam, PDA chairman T Robindro, Manipur Pollution Control Board chairman L Radhakishore, MLAs S Bira and Y Surchandra, chief secretary Dr J Suresh Babu, additional chief secretary (fisheries) MH Khan, fisheries director Bidyarani Ayekpam and others also attended the function.