Guwahati, January 21, 2019:

Nagaland BJP Chief Temjen Imna Along has said that the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act has been “politicized” by political rivals, and claimed that it is not going to fill Nagaland with non-Nagas and affect the demography of the State.

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Talking to Inside Northeast, Temjen said that since 2014 has been set as  the official cutoff date (to gain citizenship under the CAA), it is unlikely that any ‘foreigners’ will become citizens.

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“It has to be implemented in the whole country. Firstly, we (Nagaland) are a 6th schedule state…and again, there is the question of the Article 371A that gives us extra Constitutional safeguards. And again, we are protected by the Inner Line Permit”, Along said, stating that Nagas have nothing to fear from ‘outsiders’. “Most of the businessmen that are here have ILPs, they have to renew that all the time. If one demography is affected, that does not mean others will be affected as well.”

Stating that the Article 371A is a commitment towards the Naga people by the BJP Government, Temjen further added that nobody but the Naga people themselves can remove that safeguard. “If Punjabis eat butter chicken, will Nagas also eat butter chicken? The same will not apply to the whole of the country…”, the Nagaland Minister said, stating the CAA will impact all the States of the country differently.

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“They are already living here…It will be most difficult for migrants to enter Nagaland. We are a traditional, indigenous tribal people. We will not sell our land. Outsiders cannot buy it”, Temjen said, arguing that Nagas should not fear a ‘demographic replacement’ by foreigners.

“For Assam…it is my personal opinion…the Chief Minister of Assam. Powerful leaders like Himanta da are also from Assam, they have taken into consideration all these issues”, he said, on the issue of a major portion of Assam not being exempted from the purview of the CAA.

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