The Manipur Legislative Assembly on Friday failed to reach a consensus to adopt a resolution against the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, while the opposition bench moved a private member resolution on the floor of the House seeking a unanimous stand on the resolution.
Y. Khemchand Singh, the Speaker of the Assembly, adjourned the House till Saturday morning and said that the discussion on the matter would continue in the next sitting.
Congress MLA, Gonvindas Konthoujam, moved the resolution which said, “This house unanimously resolves to urge the Government of India not to re-introduce to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 which was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, 2019, and pending before the Rajya Sabha and to ensure that no ordinance similar to the said Bill is promulgated.”
However, the opposition and treasury bench could not meet eye-to-eye on the resolution moved by the former despite much debate till late in the evening.
Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, in response to the motion, felt the need to focus on the constitutional aspect of the Bill rather than acting on emotion.
“We are also the sons of the soil and we share the same concern. But we cannot take hasty decision without a threadbare discussion”, said N. Biren Singh.
Reiterating that his government is constantly working to insert a clause to exempt the state from the Bill purview, Singh mitigated that no substantial change was made in the Bill that could give easy access to any applicant.
He felt that it would be an unwise decision to take a hasty stand on a matter which is not a state subject.
Moreover, N. Biren Singh pointed out that the Bill would lapse automatically once the 16th Lok Sabha is dissolved paving way for the general election to the 17th Lok Sabha.
Former Chief Minister of Manipur, Okram Ibobi, contended that there was no harm taking a decision to prevent the Centre from re-introducing the Citizenship Bill claiming the BJP government “unpredictable”.
“We have seen what happened to Triple Talaq Bill. If the same stunt is repeated the Assam Accord or Manipur Peoples Bill would be rendered useless,” said Ibobi Singh.
MLA Gonvindas, moving the resolution said that there would a big “demographic change” as the Bill would give a severe blow to the unique identity of the people of the region.