Tripura MPs, student body to boycott PM's programme
By  IANS | Updated:  Feb 09, 2019, 09:27 AM
Three CPI-M MPs and the Tripura Student Federation (TSF) on Friday said they would boycott Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Saturday programme in Tripura in protest against the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The TSF is part of the North-East Students Organisation (NESO), which is spearheading agitations in the entire northeastern region excluding Sikkim against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Two Lok Sabha members -- Jitendra Chaudhury and Shankar Prasad Datta -- and a Rajya Sabha member Jharna Das Baidya, all belonging to the opposition Communist Party of India-Marxist, announced the boycott of the Prime Minister's programme in Tripura.
"The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, if enacted into a law, would grossly harm the cause of the northeastern region in future and fracture the secular fabric of the country. The bill has been conceived against the spirit of our Constitution," the MPs said in a joint statement on Friday.
Respecting the genuine sentiments and anguish of the people of this country in general and the northeast region in particular, the bill must be withdrawn, the MPs said.
The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has strongly opposed the boycott call, urging the government to take stern action if any individual or organisation tries to disturb the Prime Minister's tour.
The TSF's advisor and NESO Vice Chairman Upendra Debbarma told the media that they are urging the people protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to not attend any event of the Prime Minister on Saturday.
"We would not organise any physical demonstration on Saturday. NESO constituent in Arunachal Pradesh -- All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union -- would also organise a suitable agitation programme in its state on the same issue," Debbarma told the media.
BJP spokesperson Nabendu Bhattacharjee said that people of the state have already boycotted those who gave the call to boycott the Prime Minister's trip to Tripura. "A record number of people would attend the PM's public rally here on Saturday," he said.
Meanwhile, several tribal parties and NGOs on Friday held a massive demonstration in Manughat, 100 km north of Agartala, demanding the withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
The agitation was led by the newly formed Movement Against Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (MACAB), a conglomerate of several NGOs and four tribal outfits, including Tripura's oldest tribal party, the Indigenous Nationalist Party of Tripura (INPT).
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