Staying away from all parties meet Delivering a statement


Delivering a political statement. But is the political statement aimed at the gallery to earn brownie points from the onlookers or will it help the cause of the State and the people ? This question is raised in the backdrop of the decision taken by the State unit of the Congress to stay away from the all political party meet convened by the BJP led Government to discuss the finer points of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. That the Manipur People’s Party (MPP) too has decided to stay away from the all political party meet is also significant. The decision of the Congress and the MPP should be seen beyond the understanding of two political parties staying away from a political meeting for what is central to the meeting is the CAB, which is today grabbing prime slots all over the North East. The two parties do have a point for it would be much better for the CAB to be discussed on the floor of the Assembly for any decision inside the House will carry more weight than all meetings put together. That the House has been prorogued should tell a story pregnant with meaning and this is where questions may be raised on the BJP led Government. So two prominent political parties have decided not to turn up for the meeting convened by the BJP led Government and while this will not have much impact on how the Rajya Sabha respond to the situation when it is convened to discuss the Bill, the Congress and the MPP have already stated their position. On the other hand, Chief Minister N Biren had stated that the Centre would be urged to insert a clause in the CAB to exempt Manipur from the purview of the Bill, but this has been qualified by his oft repeated suggestions to the people to minutely study the Bill first.
This is where the vagueness of the Government on the Bill emerges. If the Chief Minister is of the opinion that a clause should be added to exempt Manipur from the purview of CAB, then isn’t this a tacit admission that CAB can open the floodgates once it becomes an Act ? This is a question which the Congress and the MPP could have raised in the meeting if they had decided against staying away from the said meeting. This is where questions may be raised on the very decision of the Congress and the MPP to stay away from the meeting. Whether the BJP led Government will toe the line of reasoning put up by the Opposition or not, it would have been in the interest of the people and the State for the two political parties to lay down their stand. This is not the time to pass the buck. Not the time for one upmanship. It is the people and the place which is at stake here. And this is a point which can only be discussed in a joint meeting of all political parties. With the Bill set to come up in the Rajya Sabha when it convenes on January 31, all political parties need to strike a common stand but this unfortunately will not be the case. Allies of the BJP have already made their stand known over the Bill with Conrad Sangma of the NPP and Zoramthanga of the MNF leading from the front. Unfortunately no allies of the BJP from Manipur have spoken out their position over the CAB.

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