Amit Shah avoids NRC, CAB issues in Mizoram
Aizawl, Oct. 5 (IANS): Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday addressed a huge gathering at Mizoram but avoided the issues of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), who had led to protests in the state recently.
Several NGOs and other organisations under the banner of a coordination committee recently intensified the agitation against the visit of Shah saying that the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Bill will affect Mizoram and other parts of the northeast.
Several organisations including the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP) had also decided to wear black clothes, particularly the shawl normally worn by the Mizo people during funerals to demonstrate their opposition to the CAB. The coordination committee, however, on Friday evening decided to withdraw their protests during the Home Minister’s visit.
Shah who visited Mizoram with a day long programme highlighted the major initiatives taken by the BJP led NDA government at the Centre for the development of Mizoram and other parts of the northeast. “During the tenure of Prime Minister Narendra Modi we have taken out bamboo from the list of forest resources and this is going to help the entire northeast region by boosting the handicraft sector,” said Shah.
The Home Minister said that the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi had taken several steps for the development of Mizoram in the past five years which includes the inauguration of the 60 MW Tuirial hydro power project, providing rail connectivity to Vairabi in Mizoram, opening of border haats with Myanmar and steps to open the Kaladan multi model project.
He said that while the erstwhile Congress government had given only INR 19,974 crore to Mizoram under the 13th Finance Commission, the state was given INR 42,972 crore under the 14th Finance Commission..2
Development projects for Mizoram doubled, says Shah
Union Home Minister Amit Shah said here on Saturday the Narendra Modi government had doubled projects for development of Mizoram compared with the Congress-led government.
After inaugurating the North East Handloom and Handicraft Exhibition, organised by the North Eastern Council (NEC), Shah said, Mizoram could tap forest resources, like bamboo, to become self-reliant. the value-addition, processing, manufacture and marketing of the handicrafts could benefit people as well as the state economy immensely, he added.
Shah, who arrived here on Saturday on his first visit as the Union Home Minister, said under the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, 23,000 people in Mizoram had received cooking gas (LPG) connections.
DoNER (Development of Northeastern Region) Minister Jitendra Singh, who also met various local groups, said land border agreement with Myanmar had been signed and the Inland Waterways Authority project would be started soon.
Singh said the Centre had approved 43 projects worth INR 300 crore for Mizoram.
Addressing the function, Chief Minister Zoramthanga said with proper support and assistance from the Centre, Mizoram, which had high growth potential, could have the highest gross state domestic product (GSDP) in the country. Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sharma also accompanied Home Minister Shah.
Shah also held meetings with Governor Jagdish Mukhi, Chief Minister Zoramthanga, top officials and the NGO Coordination Committee (NCC) on various issues, including the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
The NCC, led by the Young Mizo Association (YMA), had announced to organise a protest rally against the CAB during Shah’s visit. But on Friday it withdraw the plan when the Home Minister assured to discuss the CAB with it.
BJP Mizoram unit chief J V Hluna, who had appealed the NCC to withdraw agitation, told IANS he was happy that the NCC cancelled the plan.
On the meeting with Shah, an NCC leader said it was “very cordial”. “Shah heard us and assured that the draft of the proposed CAB would also be shared with the NCC. Shah told us he would address our concerns and the inner-line permit would be incorporated in the CAB,” the NCC leader said.
The NCC has also submitted a memorandum to the Home Minister.
Two local parties — the Peoples Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) and the Mizoram People’s Conference — held protests against the CAB.
The CAB seeks to fast-track Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis, Christians and Jains from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who entered India till December 31, 2014.