Congress Monday appealed to the people of Mizoram and the northeastern region to vote against the BJP and its allies in the coming Lok Sabha polls as it is determined to legislate the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill. BJP national president Amit Shah told a rally at Lakhimpur in Assam on Sunday that if the Narendra Modi-led BJP government returns to power in the coming Lok Sabha elections, it would ensure the passage of the Bill.
It had been passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8, it was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha. The Bill is now set to lapse on June 3, when the tenure of the present Lok Sabha ends. "As BJP is hell-bent on the passage of the proposed amendment bill, the people of Mizoram, as well as the northeastern states, should unite against the BJP and its allies for the defeat of the proposed legislation," the statement said.
The Congress said that the fact that Shah "dared" to express on the soil of the northeast BJP's determination to pass the proposed amendment bill showed that he has no respect for the people of the region and their wishes. The North East Students Organisation(NESO), which spearheaded the movement against the Bill, also issued a press statement condemning the speeches of Shah.
"We are against the illegal Bangladeshis and we do not differentiate them on the basis of their religion. An illegal Bangladeshi is an illegal Bangladeshi, irrespective of whether the person is a Hindu or a Muslim," it said. The body further stated that the students of the northeast region will never accept the 'draconian bill' and called upon all the indigenous peoples of the region to thwart the "evil designs" for the survival of the race, identity, culture, language and future generations.
The Citizenship(Amendment) Bill, 2019 provides for according Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India instead of 12 years, which is the norm currently, even if they do not possess any document.
(With inputs from agencies.)