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Assam Congress seeks referendum on Citizenship Bill

Assam Congress seeks referendum on Citizenship Bill

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 10 May 2018, 02:54 am

Guwahati, May 9 (IBNS): Opposition Congress on Wednesday demanded a referendum on the Citizenship (Ammendment) Bill, 2016, which triggered an outrage in Assam as several organisations, indigenous people of the state have opposed the controversial bill. 

Former Assam Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Tarun Gogoi said that, in democracy, it is obvious that there will be differences of opinions and people have right to raise their voice if any initiative taken by the government hurts them.

Slamming Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP, the three times former Chief Minister said that, the BJP-led union government has moved to pass the bill to grant citizenship to the non-muslims immigrants of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan in the name of persecution while people of Assam have strongly opposed the bill.

"Let there be a referendum on the Citizenship (Ammendment) Bill, 2016," Gogoi said.

Gogoi further said that, BJP has promised to protect the indigenous people of the state during election campaigns, but they didn't.

"Why is Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal silent on the bill," Gogoi questioned.

It is to be mentioned that, various organisations, groups, people of Brahmaputra and Barak Valleys had expressed their views before the 16-member Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) led by BJP MP Rajendra Agarwala which conducted hearings on the bill in the state for three days.

In Brahmaputra valley, most of the indigenous groups, organisations opposed the bill while Bengali majority Barak valleys groups, organisations had expressed their support on it.

Addressing a press conference held in Guwahati, Tarun Gogoi said that, the BJP-led union government is trying to set Assam on fire by introducing the bill.

"We are opposing the bill and we will not allow to grant citizenship to the Hindu Bangladeshi," Gogoi said.

On the other hand, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee president and Rajya Sabha MP Ripun Bora said that, the AGP who is in part of the BJP-led Assam coalition government is fooling the people of Assam by saying that they will withdraw its support to the state government and will pull out within a second if the bill is passed.

"It is a time to save Assam, indigenous people, Assamese community, our culture, our language and there is widespread anger across the state against the bill. But AGP is waiting for the bill to be passed to withdraw support from the government. Historical Assam Accord was signed after six years long Assam agitation and they are the signatories of the accord," Ripun Bora said.

On the other hand, while the Congress opposed the bill, a section of the party in the Bengali community dominated Barak valley had interestingly supported it.

Former minister and senior Congress leader in Barak valley alleged that, the previous Congress government cabinet has also decided to grant citizenship to the Hindu Bangladeshis.

The Congress and other 254 organisations, groups have met the JPC in Silchar in Southern Assam on Tuesday and Wednesday.


(Reporting by Hemanta Kumar Nath)

 

Assam Congress seeks referendum on Citizenship Bill

India Blooms News Service
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