CAB lapses in Rajya Sabha, victory for people of North East

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The last two days of apprehension over the outcome from Rajya Sabha (RS), once Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh moves the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 as listed in the ‘Legislative Business’ for February 13, 2019, has finally seen a sigh of relief as Upper House has been adjourned sine die, hence the government could not get the controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) and Triple Talaq Bill to pass.

The Lok Sabha was also adjourned sine die after the Budget session, which had commenced on January 31, came to its conclusion. It was the last session of the 16th Lok Sabha before the next general elections.

The indigenous people of Northeast India, regional parties besides various civil societies, pressure groups have been opposing the bill. The protests have reached its crescendo as the North East Students’ Organisation (NESO) together with All Assam Students Union (AASU) and Khasi Students Union (KSU) announced that if RS passes the Bill they will moved the Supreme Court.

Although it is too early to celebrate because it is not yet clear if the Bill will ever come back again, the sentiment and zeal of the 17th Lok Sasbha will definitely be different. At the same time the CAB lapse in the Upper House now will provide ample time for Bharatiya Janata Party to introspect if it’s worth losing all the alliances it has forged in the region who were deserting to oppose the Bill.

The lapse is mainly due to numerous controversies surrounding the session and ruckus created by the opposition parties mainly due to the Rafale fighter jet deal with France, hence, it is also wrong to claim as the victory of the indigenous people of Northeast, but can be considered as moral victory of the protestors.

Meghalaya Chief Minster, Conrad Kongkal Sangma who flew to the national capital to halt citizenship bill in Rajya Sabha appeared elated after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill lapsed in Rajya Sabha and is now considered as the iconic hero as he led the senior leaders from the region seeking support of various political parties in opposing Citizenship Bill.

Conrad along with former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kuamar Mahanta, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) President Atul Bora, Party Working President Keshab Mahanta thanked everyone who came out in opposition against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.

One thing is evident that this will go down into the annals of history as one of the most forceful movement, where all sections of the society together with the regional political leaders are in one voice to oppose the Union Government’s move. Otherwise, the regional governments are known for looking towards the Central government with begging bowl only.

Thinking that there are just 25 Lok Sabha seats from all the eight states of the region, while the very same government- the Bharatiya Janata Party-led National Democratic Alliance government headed by Narendra Damodardas Modi keeps advocating of inclusive national development by taking the NE region together. Whereas in this Bill, the emotions and concerns of the people have fallen into the deaf ears of the same government.

The same trust and bonding of all the regional parties from the region along with the civil societies, pressure groups, students’ unions should always keep the state issues to self, and jointly stand as one when it comes to the interest of the entire region as it was witnessed for opposing the CAB, which compelled the central government to hear their voices through various sittings. That is why, although the bill lapsed in Rajya Sabha, it is considered as the people’s movement victory.