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Constitutional provisions for Nagaland to reject the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016

Topics Covered:

  1. Indian Constitution- historical underpinnings, evolution, features, amendments, significant provisions and basic structure.
  2. Government policies and interventions for development in various sectors and issues arising out of their design and implementation.
  3. Border areas and their management.


Constitutional provisions for Nagaland to reject the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016


What to study?

  • For Prelims: Features of the Bill.
  • For Mains: Why are NE states opposed to this bill, protection against such legislations for NE states.


Context: The Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party (NDPP), a coalition partner of the BJP in Nagaland, has said the State had the constitutional provision to reject the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Background: Nagaland, along with other north-eastern States, has witnessed several protests following the passage of the Bill in the Lok Sabha.


Why the provisions of the Citizenship Bill may not be applicable to Nagaland?

Article 371(A) of the Constitution begins with the words “notwithstanding anything in this Constitution, no Act of Parliament in respect of…”. This means that despite what is in the Constitution, no Act of Parliament shall apply to the State of Nagaland unless the Legislative Assembly of Nagaland by a resolution so decides.

Nagaland is also protected by the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation of 1873, whereby an Inner Line Permit is issued to outsiders for safeguarding the citizenship, rights and privileges of the Nagas.


Why Assam and other NE states are opposing this bill?

  • The bill seeks to facilitate granting of Indian citizenship for non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
  • In Assam, illegal migrants are not identified along religious lines and people want such migrants to be deported.
  • Mizoram fears Buddhist Chakmas from Bangladesh may take advantage of the Act. Meghalaya and Nagaland are apprehensive of migrants of Bengali stock.
  • Groups in Arunachal Pradesh fear the new rules may benefit Chakmas and Tibetans. Manipur wants the Inner-line Permit System to stop outsiders from entering the state.


Sources: the hindu.

Mains Question: Critically examine various concerns raised against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.