Guwahati: A former Navy sailor from Mizoram contesting the upcoming Lok Sabha elections has pledged to introduce ‘Right to Secession Bill’ if the BJP attempts to re-introduce the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.
Lalvenchhunga, who is campaigning for the People’s Right to Information and Development Implementation Society of Mizoram (PRISM), said that it is the only regional party capable of fighting against the contentious bill protecting the identity of the Mizo people.
“I have imagined Mizoram as a self-determining country and nation. That is why I joined politics. Having spent more than 15 years in mainland India, I came to know that there exists vast cultural and language differences, and we need to uproot our people and tell them of their rights,” said Lalvenchhunga.
The office of the chief electoral officer in Mizoram on Friday asked for a clarification from the PRISM on its stand in this issue.
“The said matter pertains to your party and the issues raised question the unity and integrity of the country. It has also been observed that earlier statements issued by your party in Aizawl and Champhai districts have openly spoken about secession from India,” wrote Krishna Mohan Uppu, Additional CEO, Mizoram.
Responding to the official letter from the state election commission, PRISM president Vanlalruata said the party remains committed to introducing the Secession Bill if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is re-introduced.
“Government of India is trying to legislate Citizenship Amendment Bill which clearly divides Indian people, especially the Northeastern people. But the bill is now pending in Rajya Sabha. The BJP president had earlier said that if his party wins the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, the Citizenship Amendment Bill will be re-introduced, and we think that this is against the unity and integrity of India. We strongly oppose it,” Vanlalruata said.
Lalvenchhunga has been associated with social work for a long time. He maintains that championing the rights of Mizo people is his main political agenda and his party is in agreement with his views.
“British India divided us from our own brethren living on the other side of Myanmar. It included the Christian community of Bangladesh that has no connection with Mizo people, but left out the Burmese. Before the British came, we were not Indian or Burmese, but dignified Indigenous people. If they try to divide us by bringing the CAB, we can once again be one nation,” Lalvenchhunga said.
He added that as per United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, Article 3 of 2007, the indigenous people have the right of determination, and his party is committed to the cause.
The anti-bill protests in Mizoram had people demanding for a separate Mizo nation. Even former Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla took part in a rally holding a banner that read ‘Hello lndependent Republic of Mizoram’.