NPF asks government to reveal its stand on Citizenship Bill - Eastern Mirror
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NPF asks government to reveal its stand on Citizenship Bill

By Mirror Desk Updated: Jan 06, 2019 12:26 am

Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Jan. 5: The Opposition party of Nagaland Assembly the Naga Peoples Front (NPF) has demanded the People’s Democratic Alliance (PDA) government in Nagaland to reveal its stand on the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.

Leader of Opposition T.R. Zeliang told reporters on Saturday that the PDA government led by the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP) has not clearly spelled out “on what ground it had decided not to oppose the said Bill.”

The former CM said that he had drawn the attention of the current chief minister through a letter dated July 16, 2018 seeking clarification on the decision taken by the state cabinet during its meeting on June 5, last year that stated “Nagaland is protected under Article 371 (A) of the constitution of India and the ILP regulation” and that the “government of Nagaland will not interfere in national policies” unless the Bill goes against the interest of the Nagas.

Zeliang also alleged that the Assembly Secretariat has listed the matter (Citizenship Amendment Bill) for discussion on the floor of the house but the Speaker denied it during the last Assembly Session held in September.

It may be mentioned that under the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, people belonging to minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are eligible to apply for Indian citizenship after six years of their residence in the country.

Zeliang has also questioned the PDA government on the delay in releasing the grant-in-aid fund sanctioned by the government of India for Nagaland. He claimed the Centre had sanctioned INR 185.09 crore for the state on Nov. 8, 2017 and a high-level committee (HLC) under the chairmanship of the chief secretary was constituted by the Governor of Nagaland in the following month, and that the committee had approved a sum of INR 96 crore as grant-in-aid for the state for the years 2015-16, 2016-17, and 2017-18.

He claimed that the fund couldn’t be released by the then NPF-led government due to the model code of conduct following the announcement of state assembly election but the Finance department released the fund to the Rural Development department in March this year after PDA government took over. He has now asked the government why the INR 96 crore that had been approved by the HLC is still not been released to the village development boards.

When contacted by Eastern Mirror on the allegation levelled by the NPF, the chief minister’s office assured that it would soon clarify the doubt to the public in detail.

By Mirror Desk Updated: Jan 06, 2019 12:26:57 am