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BJP's Alliance Trouble in Tripura Eases as Citizenship Bill Lapses in Rajya Sabha

Tripura had witnessed protests and unrest as furore over the Bill engulfed the region. With this outcome, leaders are hopeful that attention can now be turned towards development.

Shankhyaneel Sarkar | CNN-News18

Updated:February 14, 2019, 1:50 PM IST
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BJP's Alliance Trouble in Tripura Eases as Citizenship Bill Lapses in Rajya Sabha
An elderly man holds a placard while protesting against the Citizenship Bill (Image: AP)
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New Delhi: As the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill lapsed in Rajya Sabha, celebrations broke out across the North East. While supporters of various organisations agitating against the Bill in Assam burst crackers, leaders of Indigenous People’s Federation of Tripura expressed relief and opposition Indigenous Nationalist Party of Twipra (INPT) called it a victory for the indigenous people.

Speaking to News18.com, Minister of Tribal Welfare of Tripura and IPFT general secretary Mewar Kumar Jamatia said, "It happened for good. The people of the north-eastern states now can be happy with the outcome. IPFT is thankful towards every party that has opposed the Bill. I appreciate their support."

Revenue Minister NC Debbarma remained sure-footed about the BJP-IPFT alliance in the state and brushed aside all the rumors of strain. "The bill is now in cold storage. Until the 17th Lok Sabha is constituted, the Bill is dormant," he said.

The IPFT president also remained assured that the Centre would think about the stakeholders before the passage of the Bill. He said, "The Home Minister had assured us that the Bill would be passed keeping all the stakeholders in mind. As long as that is in order, the coalition governments in the North-eastern states will continue to work alongside BJP. Governments in Tripura, Nagaland and Meghalaya will now concentrate on working together towards development."

INPT leader Jagadish Debbarma was jubilant to know that the Bill had lapsed in the Upper House on Wednesday. "This is a victory for the people for the north-eastern states. It was good to see National Conference, Trinamool Congress and the other opposition parties oppose the Bill. It is a victory for India as well," he said.

He pointed out that the opposition unity over the Bill has the potential to impact the political equations in the region. He further added, "The Bill has exposed BJP and it will impact them. The lapse will have reactions. BJP’s allies are now concerned. The regional parties in these states may now think of coming together to usher a new kind of politics."

IPFT-Tipraha’s Aghore Debbarma stressed, "Minorities should not be reduced to mere museum exhibits. Our rights need to be protected. BJP is nonchalant towards regional expectations."

Tripura had witnessed protests and unrest as furore over the Bill engulfed the region. With this outcome, leaders are hopeful that attention can now be turned towards development.

PM Modi hailed the Bill as a move to give justice to the religious minorities who have been on the wrong side of history during the Partition. Last week, during his Assam visit, the Prime Minister said that opposition parties with vested interests were spreading lies about the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

The proposed Bill aims to award citizenship to religious minorities (Hindu, Jain, Buddhists and Christians) from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.

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