'Won't hesitate to leave BJP forum': Mizoram CM

Last Updated 25 January 2019, 05:57 IST

After a call to boycott the Republic Day celebrations in Mizoram by civil society groups, Mizo National Front (MNF) has warned that it would not hesitate to pull out of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA)--a forum of its allies floated by BJP in the region.

Mizoram chief minister Zoramthanga on Thursday said the party would launch an agitation and pull out of NEDA, if the bill is not withdrawn. "I have told Prime Minister Narendra Modi and home minister Rajnath Singh that people of Mizoram are opposed to the bill. We are also against the bill in honour of the Mizo Accord, which gives special protection to the people of Mizoram within the framework of the Constitution," he said at a function near Aizawl.

MNF led by Zoramthanga defeated Congress and came back to power in November last year. Although MNF is a NEDA partner, BJP and MNF contested elections separately for the 40 member Assembly. MNF got 25 seats and formed its government but did not include the lone MLA of BJP, which won a seat for the first time in Mizoram. Soon after Mizoram results, BJP, however, admitted that MNF helped it achieve its target of Congress-mukt Northeast.

This comes days after Asom Gana Parishad, the regional party in Assam walked out of the BJP-led alliance government to protest the bill on January 7, a day before it was passed in the Lok Sabha.

The bill seeks to allow 'persecuted' minorities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan such as Hindus, Christians, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Sikhs, who had migrated till December 2014, to apply for Indian citizenship after a stay of six years.

Mizos fear that the bill would allow many Chakmas to get Indian citizenship, whom they suspect illegal migrants from neighbouring Bangladesh.

The influential NGO Coordination Committee, leading an agitation against the settlement of Chakma refugees, issued a call to boycott Republic Day in protest against the bill. Two opposition parties also supported the boycott call.

BJP's allies in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya are opposed to the bill while BJP government in Manipur has requested that the state be exempted from purview of the bill.

(Published 25 January 2019, 05:57 IST)

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