TODAY -

Time for Govt to reach out to others : CAB in a new avatar ?
- The Sangai Express Editorial :: February 25 2019 -



Time to learn some lessons from the immediate past and it is here that the State Government cannot afford to remain lax.

This is the time to reach out to the civil society organisations and the people and discuss points that may be included in the ‘proposed Clause’ to protect Manipur and the North East, if and when the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill comes to the centre stage, if the BJP comes back to power.

That BJP president Amit Shah minced no words in announcing that the CAB will be brought back if the BJP is returned to power should more than underline the point that the BJP is intent on pushing through the Bill and get it enacted.

The BJP led Government at Imphal cannot be caught on the wrong foot like the last time and now is the best time to act.

Under what circumstances can the Centre be approached to insert a Clause so that the North East region and Manipur is not flooded by migrants once the Bill is enacted is the question that should occupy the mind of the BJP leaders in Manipur.

That it was the people’s movement that dissuaded the BJP from pushing the Bill should be clear to all.

That the BJP is intent on getting the Bill enacted is also clear.

As the publisher and Managing Editor of The Sangai Express Nishikant Singh Sapam said on NELive some days back, it was the people’s movement that dissuaded the BJP from going ahead with the Bill in the Rajya Sabha and reasoned that since the BJP has decided against pushing the Bill as an Ordinance or getting it passed via a joint sitting of the Parliament, it is obvious that something new will be incorporated in the Bill.

This is where the opportunity for the State Government to raise the ‘special Clause’ line before the Centre arises.

The decision not to table the Bill on the floor of the Rajya Sabha should be studied deeply and understood in the correct perspective.

It should be more than obvious that it was never the intention of the BJP led Government at the Centre to push the Bill despite the strong opposition from the North Eastern States, particularly Manipur, with Imphal emerging as the epicentre of the protest.

This is a point which the State BJP leadership should sell to the people ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

And this is where the BJP leaders of the State need to reach out to the numerous civil society organisations, particularly MANPAC, which spearheaded the protest and discuss the points that may be included in the proposal to be sent to the Centre.

The State Government need to realise that it had to move to the ‘Clause’ stand from its earlier ‘‘Study the Bill minutely’ quip after the people rose as one to protest the move to enact the CAB.

Act while there is time, for if the BJP comes back to power at the Centre then it will surely move the Bill.

The task before the State Government then is to see that the CAB is rescripted in such a way that it does not affect Manipur and the North East.

The State Government may also reach out to the other States and see how it can go with the others and strike a united stand.

Time is on the side of the State Government and now is the time to get going.



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