Manipur Chief Minister N Biren Singh has called a meeting of all political parties in the state on January 29 to discuss the Citizenship Amendment Bill even as protests against the Bill continue in the state. The chief minister’s media advisor, Irengbam Arun on Thursday said that the CM has called the meeting at his official residence here on January 29 in the morning to discuss the Bill.
The BJP is heading a coalition government in the state with the National People’s Party, Naga People’s Front and the Lok Janshakti Party. Meanwhile, protests against the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) are continuing in the state with people taking out processions and holding sit-ins in various districts demanding that the Bill be withdrawn.
Manipur People’s Party (MPP), many students’ organisations and civil society players in the state are against the CAB. MPP president O Jugindro had earlier said that his party would oppose the Bill tooth and nail. He further added that the Bill, if passed in the Rajya Sabha, would reduce the population of indigenous people of the northeastern states, including Manipur, to microscopic minority. Six students’ organisation of the state along with the women organisation ‘Meira Paibi’ have also announced that they would launch agitation against CAB at New Delhi when the Bill would be introduced in the Rajya Sabha.
The chief minister has earlier said that the Bill will have no effect on the state. The Manipur Cabinet in its January 10 meeting chaired by the chief minister had urged the Centre to exempt the state from the jurisdiction of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The state cabinet in the same meeting also decided to urge the Centre and authorities concerned to give assent to the Manipur Peoples’ (Protection) Bill, 2018 passed by the state assembly.
The Manipur Peoples’ (Protection) Bill, 2018 defines Manipuris and non-Manipuris and seeks to protect the interests and identity of the indigenous people. The Citizenship Amendment Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 which seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslims who fled religious persecution from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and entered India before December 31, 2014.