APCC, PPA flay govt for not inviting JPC to Arunachal

ITANAGAR, May 9: The ruling BJP Government in Arunachal Pradesh has come under sharp criticism from the Congress party for not inviting the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 to Arunachal Pradesh, a state, the party said, “Plagued by the refugee issue”.
The JPC headed by Member of Parliament Rajendra Agarwal is currently visiting the North East states to collect feedback on the Bill.
The Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) alleged that the state government did not insist the JPC to visit Arunachal to collect views and suggestions from the stakeholders. Moreover, the people of the state have been kept in the dark about the visit of the JPC to North East, the party said.
“It should have been the prime duty of the government to insist and invite the JPC to the state to discuss on the Bill. But the state government did not do so,” the party said.
“When several Northeastern states have openly decided to oppose the said Bill, the state of Arunachal Pradesh-a state which is witnessing major refugee problem has been left untouched by the JPC,” the party rued.
“Since the 70s, the refugee problem is a burning issue of the state. But this issue has always been taken casually and was not addressed proactively by the union government till date,” the party said.
The APCC demanded that the state government disclose, whether any meeting on the refugee issue was held or the issue has been resolved ‘secretly’ with the Ministry of Home Affairs. The government should come clear on the issue, the party added.
The APCC also demanded the government to immediately call an all-party meeting involving the NGOs, CBOs and senior citizens of affected districts.
Meanwhile, the APCC hailed AAPSU’s decision to participate in the JPC meeting in Meghalaya.
The People’s Party of Arunachal also said that it is worried over the stoic silence of the BJP-led government in Arunachal Pradesh regarding its stand on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 proposed by the centre.
“The state government should come out clean on its views and stand over the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in the country as neighbouring state governments like Assam and Meghalaya have taken lately”.
The PPA said that the people of Arunachal do not seem to be aware of its future fall outs as the party said that it wants to know the reasons why the JPC has skipped Arunachal.
The party said that as the state is already grappling with the Chakma-Hajong and Tibetan refugee issue, the government must clear all apprehensions.
The party further warned that those who did not find mention in the National Registration Certificate (NRC) in Assam may sneak into Arunachal.
The PPA says that if the Bill is enacted into an Act, it would trigger existential crises for the indigenous people in various North Eastern states.
Introduced on 19 July, 2016 in the Lok Sabha, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 seeks to allow illegal migrants who are Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi or Christian religious communities from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship. It amends the Citizenship Act of 1955.