Published On : Wed, Apr 3rd, 2019

Rahul vows to restore special status to NE states

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday gave his commitment to help resolve the decades-long Naga political problem if the party forms government at the Centre after the election.

It is a complex issue involving multiple stakeholders and talks would be held with all of them to find out a solution, Gandhi said addressing a poll meeting .

“I will not give empty promises but will try to resolve the Naga political issue by working with all the stakeholders,” he said.

The Centre signed a framework agreement with the National Socialist Council of Nagaland- Isak-Muivah in 2015 and six Naga nationalist political groups have joined the peace talks separately. But there has not been a breakthrough on the Naga problem.

Gandhi said the Congress believes that every single state in India has its own culture, history and belief but the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government is trying to impose a single idea on the people of the country.

He asked, “Who do they think they are to dictate terms on how to live to the people of the North East? Understanding the unique problems and geography of the region, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government had given special status category to the north eastern states, he said alleging that NDA government abolished all these provisions.

Gandhi assured the people that the Congress, after coming to power, will bring back the special category status and other provisions granted to the north eastern states.

Gandhi promised not to allow the Citizenship Amendment Bill to be passed stating that it is a threat to the people of the region.

The contentious Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant Indian nationality to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India even if they don’t possess proper document.

A largescale protest broke out in the Northeastern states as the indigenous people of the region were apprehending that if the bill was enacted, it would endanger their livelihood and identity.

The bill, being vehemently opposed in the region even by certain allies of the BJP, was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8.

However, it is set to lapse on June 3, when the term of the present Lok Sabha ends, as it could not be passed in the Rajya Sabha.

BJP president Amit Shah had said the party would bring back the Bill if it was voted to power.

Polling will be held for the lone Mizoram Lok Sabha seat on April 11.