Planned right to secede bill if BJP pushed CAB, says Mizo party

AIZAWL, Jun 11: A political party of Mizoram on Tuesday said it has informed the Election Commission of India (ECI) that it would have introduced a right to secede bill in Parliament only in the event of the central government pushing the passage of the controversial citizenship amendment bill (CAB).
The ECI had issued a show cause notice to the People’s Representation for Identity and Status of Mizoram (PRISM) party, asking it to explain its poll plank to introduce a right to secede bill in Parliament.
The poll panel served the show cause notice to the party on 20 May, giving the deadline for reply on 20 June, but it was sent on Monday, PRISM president Vanlalruata said.
“The decision to introduce the right to secede bill in Parliament was made only after BJP chief Amit Shah had said that the party, if returned to power after the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, would reintroduce and ensure the passage of the CAB,” Vanlalruata told PTI.
The CAB provided for according Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India instead of 12 years, which is the current norm, even if they do not possess any document.
The legislation was passed by Lok Sabha during the winter session on 8 January, but was not introduced in the upper house.
“We stick to our stance that the bill is against the secular fabric of the constitution and also against the integrity and unity of the country,” Vanlalruata said, adding that all the states in the Northeast region opposed the proposed legislation.
The PRISM chief maintained that if one political party can put forward something that can harm the national integrity and is against secularism as enshrined in the constitution, another party should also be able to introduce such a bill.
Before the Lok Sabha polls, the PRISM had said it would introduce the right to secede bill in Parliament if the party was elected to the lone Mizoram seat, in the event of the BJP trying to ensure legislation of the CAB.
The party candidate, however, lost the Lok Sabha poll in Mizoram.
The ECI had issued two show cause notices to the PRISM on the issue. (PTI)