Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Thursday said that the ruling Mizo National Front would not hesitate to cut ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party-led North East Democratic Alliance if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is not revoked, PTI reported. “The ruling party would withdraw its support to the NDA if situation arises,” he said.
The Mizo National Front heads a majority government in the state and had won 26 of the 40 seats in the Assembly elections last month. It is a constituent of the North East Democratic Alliance, a BJP-led coalition of parties from all states in the region.
Zoramthanga said the party and his government were working towards ensuring that the bill is defeated in the Rajya Sabha, which is expected to take it up in the Budget session. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 to grant citizenship to persecuted Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains, Parsis and Christians from the Muslim-majority nations of Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan if they have lived in India for six years. Those who do not possess required documents are also eligible for citizenship, according to the bill.
“The state cabinet adopted a resolution opposing the proposed legislation and I have met both the prime minister and the Union home minister to inform them about our opposition to the legislation,” said Zoramthanga.
The agitation against the bill intensified in Mizoram after NGO Coordination Committee, an umbrella body of civil society and student groups, decided to boycott Republic Day celebrations, The Telegraph reported. The Zoram People’s Movement and the People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram will also not participate in official functions.
Residents of several northeastern states have participated in agitations fearing that the bill will lead to an influx of new residents that will alter the demographic composition of the states.
Five students were hospitalised on Thursday after police fired smoke bombs to disperse protestors marching towards Rajya Sabha MP Ksh Bhabananda Singh’s house in Manipur’s capital Imphal. The agitators tried to storm his house and demanded that Singh oppose the bill in Rajya Sabha, the Imphal Free Press reported. Singh is the president of Manipur BJP.
Earlier, Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh had called a meeting of all political parties in the state on January 28 to discuss the bill.