Saturday, 20 October, 2018

Can't Be Chief Minister If Assam Interests Not Secure: Sarbananda Sonowal

Assam pacifies protesters on Citizenship Bill Can't Be Chief Minister If Assam Interests Not Secure: Sarbananda Sonowal
Sandra Phillips | 14 May, 2018, 04:52

Several organisations and citizens took out a procession to voice their concern against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, saying it would breach the clauses of the Assam Accord that states that all illegal foreigners who came to Assam after 1971 from Bangladesh, irrespective of their religion, have to be deported.

"The Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 is interacting with people and organisations". "People want we should quit the government", said Mahanta.

The Bill once passed would render the Assam Accord as well as National Register of Citizens (NRC) toothless, he said.

Saikia emphasized that the Chief Minister needed to take the initiative in this matter because he was the Leader of the House and dates for Assembly sessions and list of business, etc. are fixed as per his advice to the Governor and Speaker.

The 16-member JPC was formed in August 2016 under the headship of BJP MP Satyapal Singh to hear views of various stakeholders after severe opposition in Assam following the tabling of the Bill in Lok Sabha in July 2016. During the 80 the students' movement of Assam had raised the issue and fought with the Government. "The BJP will have to chose if it wants to be with indigenous people or Bangladeshis", said Sammujjal Bhattacharya, chief advisor to the All Assam Students' Union (AASU), the powerful students' body that led the Assam agitation of the 1980s. The bill violates the basic structure of the Constitution and Centre's move to amend the Citizenship Bill is only appeased the Hindu voters from Bangladesh and other neighboring countries.

"It was due to his efforts that saw the IMDT (Illegal Migrants' Determination Tribunal) Act, which made detection of immigrants hard, being struck down (by the Supreme Court)", Patowary said while appealing to the people to have faith on the government.

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Peter said that the Bill is a conspiracy to wipe out the indigenous peoples of the whole North East region who belong to the Mongoloid stock.

Earlier in the day, the members of the Federation of Khasi Jaintia and Garo People and pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA-P) staged a peaceful rally in the city to protest against the proposed Bill.

The stand of the Congr-ess against the bill has created a further embarrassment for the party as Mr Gogoi as chief minister until 2016 advocated asylum to Hindus and other minorities facing religious persecution in Bangladesh.

In the Bengali-dominated Barak Valley, a majority of the 315 opinions submitted to the JPC were in favour of the Bill, and people carrying placards formed a human chain in its support.

Following the JPC hearings, protests have been taking place on a daily basis in the Brahmaputra valley against the Bill.

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