GUWAHATI: At a time when the protest against the CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) reached its crescendo in the State, the BJP Assam Pradesh has said that the Bill is not going to affect Assam and that it is being misinterpreted in the State.
Addressing the media at Atal Behari Vajpayee Bhawan in Guwahati on Sunday, State BJP spokespersons Rupam Goswami and Nomal Momin said that the Citizenship Act, 1955 – which had been supported by Father of the Nation Mahatma Gandhi, former Prime Minister Jawharlal Nehru, Sardar Bhallab Bhai Patel and others – was amended as many as nine times giving Indian citizenship to lakhs of foreigners, including 40 lakh in the 1985 amendment of the Act alone. However, there was no protest at that time, they said.
“The CAB is being brought for the greater interest of the country, and not in Assam alone. It is being misinterpreted that the Bill will let each and everyone entering Assam from three neighbouring countries will get Indian citizenship. This is not the fact, because the Bill has clearly specified a cut-off date – December 31, 2014. Even people entering Assam before this cut-off date will also have to prove to the satisfaction of the Central government with appropriate documents that they had to leave their respective countries because of religious persecution,” Goswami said.
He further said, “The BJP is committed to implement the Assam Accord to the letter. We’ve already taken measures for the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, the soul of the Accord. The governments of no other parties ever tried to implement this clause. It’s the BJP government that has taken the step.”