The People's Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) on Wednesday urged Chief Minister Zoramthanga to convene a meeting of all political parties in the state to discuss the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955. In a letter submitted to the chief minister's office, the Vanlalruata-led party said all parties should come together to stop the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The contentious bill seeks to amend Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant nationality to non-Muslims who fled religious persecution from three neighbouring countries and entered India before December 31, 2014. It was passed by Lok Sabha earlier this month and is likely to be tabled in the Rajya Sabha in the budget session.
"As the people of Mizoram are opposed to the passage of the bill, it is a high time that efforts be made to ensure its defeat in the Upper House," the letter said. The PRISM also suggested that united movement against the legislation be undertaken by the political parties and the civil societies. Earlier, Zoramthanga had expressed regret over the passage of the amendment bill in the Lower House. During a meeting of the council of ministers on January 10, the chief minister resolved to make efforts to prevent its passage in the Rajya Sabha. Protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has rocked the entire northeast region, with several indigenous organisations raising voice against the legislation, citing threat to their identity and culture.
(With inputs from agencies.)