GUWAHATI: The Congress has smelt a rat that now the BJP may bring an Ordinance to accord Indian citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis. The party has, however, said that it ready to foil any such move with the support of the people of Assam.
Addressing the media at a joint press conference with MP and party’s Rajya Sabha chief whip Bhubaneswar Kalita at Rajiv Bhawan in Guwahati on Thursday, APCC president Ripun Bora said: “Assam and other States of the Northeast had a providential escape in the Rajya Sabha on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019 on Wednesday. The Congress has always been with the people of Assam, and will remain so forever.”
Bora was all praise for AICC president Rahul Gandhi and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on their role in blocking the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in the Rajya Sabha. “Rahul Gandhi feels the pulses of people of Assam and the Northeast. It was at his directive, Congress’ Rajya Sabha leader Gulam Nabi Azad and chief whip Bhubaneswar Kalita planned a floor strategy that left little time for the government to table the Citizenship Bill. Had the Bill been tabled, it would have been defeated. We’ve a better strength than the ruling parties in the number game in the Upper House. Going by our planned modus operandi, we killed time on other issues during the session. On the last day of the session, we adopted a new policy – letting the government know that we would allow the mandatory passage of the Budget and thanks-giving to the President’s address so as to avoid any constitutional crisis. We, however, refused to budge even an inch on the Citizenship Bill. We successfully stonewalled the Bill by not allowing the Centre to place it in the House.”
Bora thanked the AASU, the NESO and other organizations that opposed the controversial Bill.
Meanwhile, MP Bhubaneswar Kalita said: “We did oppose the Bill when in was introduced in the Parliament in 2016 and forced the government to send it to the JPC (joint parliamentary committee). We gave some amendments to the Bill but the JPC rejected them. Since the government couldn’t table the Bill in the Rajya Sabha, it may try to get the purpose served by bringing an Ordinance. However, we’re here to stonewall every single move with the support of the people of Assam.”
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