More than hinting CAB will be tabled Expecting stormy days !


With Prime Minister Narendra Modi more than hinting that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be passed in the Rajya Sabha and with reports coming in that the said Bill may be tabled in the Upper House on February 12, the coming few days can be stormy, very stormy. At the same time the Prime Minister too assured that the said Bill will not harm the interests of the North East region, while addressing Assam during his tour to the three North East States of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura on February 9. Unlikely that the assurance of the Prime Minister is going to cut ice with the people and already women vendors of Khwairamband Keithel have announced that the market in and around Khwairamband will remain shut till February 12. Giving more teeth to their anti-CAB stand, the womenfolk have already started camping at Khwairamband Keithel to put into force the directive that all shops should remain closed till February 12. On the other hand, a people’s convention held at GM Hall on February 9 called for a total shutdown for 36 hours starting from 5 am of February 11 till 5 pm of February 12. That the shut down will go hand in hand with mass public protests has only made things more unpredictable and the State police and law enforcement agencies will certainly be put hard to ensure that the situation does not go out of hand. It is in line with this that the SP of Imphal West police has issued a circular urging all the heads of departments to keep the office chowkidars on alert against any subversive activities that may lead to Government offices being torched during the course of protests.
If the said Bill is not tabled in the Rajya Sabha, then everything may come back to normal, but if it is tabled and passed then anything can happen. What happens in the next two days then will be crucial, very crucial. No doubt CSOs have been mobilising the people in every leikai and leirak but one may expect more sustained mobilisation drive during the next two days. Uncertainty looms large but what can be said with a degree of certainty is the point that the whole North East, particularly Manipur can expect stormy, very stormy days if and when the Bill is passed. This is something which the BJP led Government must have anticipated and if the Bill is indeed passed, then what will happen to the BJP led Government at Imphal is the question that follows naturally. This question is important in the face of the fact that it was no one less than the president of the NPP, Conrad Sangma who on February 9 announced that it will walk out of the NDA if the Bill is passed. The NPF too has made its stand against the Bill clear. If these two political parties indeed pull out of the coalition Government, then what happens to the BJP led Government which will be reduced to a minority here ? This is an interesting question in the sense that the Centre will not leave anything to chance to let the Congress stake claim. In such a scenario then can Central intervention be the answer via President’s Rule ? Not a comfortable question for remember the peace talk with the NSCN (IM) is reportedly at its final stage and a final deal may be inked anytime soon.

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