Opinion | Will BJP Amend Article 371 (A) if Citizenship Bill Becomes Law?

BJP-Inner-Line-Permit-CAB
The Union Government will have to amend the Article No 371 (A) first, if Citizenship (Amendment), Bill 2016 is enacted as a law in the Parliament

Pranab Kumar Gogoi 

The Union Government will find it difficult to challenge to implement the Citizenship (Amendment), Bill 2016 in Nagaland even if it is enacted as a law in the some North-eastern states where people are enjoying the privilege of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873 and Provision of article no 371 (A) of Indian Constitution.

The Union Government will have to amend the Article No 371 (A) first, if Citizenship (Amendment), Bill 2016 is enacted as a law in the Parliament.

As per provision of article no 371 (A) of Indian Constitution, no law passed in the Parliament shall be enforced to the state of Nagaland unless a unanimous resolution is adapted by the Nagaland Legislative Assembly for enacting it in the state.

 North-eastern States and Inner Line Permit

  • Besides these, few North-eastern states are enjoying the Constitutional Privilege of Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act 1873, as per the provisions of law for the entry in states like Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland one must have the Inner Line Permit for stay in their territorial land.
  • Moreover, several customary laws, traditional law, are dominating the societies of North eastern states with different traditional practice and procedure.
  • It is presumed that states armed with those constitutional safeguard can only provide work permit to keep vigil on the floating population of labour forces, having of doubtful citizenship.

BJP on Citizenship (Amendment), Bill 2016

The ruling BJP government at Centre is headway to Rajya Sabha for approval of this Citizenship (Amendment), Bill 2016. However, the think tank of the party now putting their pace slow after the state wide mass uprising against the Citizenship (Amendment), Bill 2016, that was already approved in Parliament.

BJP is now rethinking over the whole strategy. They are giving second thought to relocate the destination of Hindu Bangladeshi outside Northeast. Even the Home Ministry is contemplating to give special initiative for those who wish to accept the offer the proposal.

Long term visa is another option to settle the refuses from East Bengal.  Former Home Minister L K Advani was the first person to suggest work permit to the Bangladeshi migrant in Assam, however, the then Asom Gana Parishad government put deaf ear to the proposal of Home Ministry.

Singing sensation Zubeen Garg recently staged a protest in Tezpur against the contentious (Citizenship Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Singing sensation Zubeen Garg recently staged a protest in Tezpur against the contentious (Citizenship Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Demand for Inner Line Permit 

Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) came with some other theory that influx of state, can be curbed by the introduction of Inner Line Permit, however, the AJYCP has demanded for dual citizenship to the people of Assam for the greater interest of  people and land.

It can be further mentioned that, Meghalaya and Manipur is also demanding for Inner Line Permit to protect the respective interest of their states.

Hope rests on National Register of Citizens 

The National Register of Citizens (NRC) was a great hope for the people of Assam, people’s expectations were too high, that it would help the state to deter the illegal immigrants from the state. However, NRC Assam had left out 40 lakh, branding them to be suspected illegal immigrant. Surprisingly, NRC could not detect any suspected foreigner in the districts those people where there were abnormal growth of population in the bordering districts of Assam.

However, it seemed that, BJP is not much concerned about the implementation of other Laws in the Northeast except Citizenship (Amendment), Bill 2016, because their fundamental idea is to capitalized the Hindu votes for their future political interest.

The views expressed by the author are personal and may not in any way represent those of TIME8.