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Ploy to enact Citizenship Bill in another guise, Debabrata Saikia lambasts BJP

Ploy to enact Citizenship  Bill in another guise, Debabrata Saikia lambasts BJP

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 Sep 2018 9:32 AM GMT

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI: Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia has come down heavily on BJP MP from Rajasthan and party’s Chief Whip in the Rajya Sabha Narayan Lal Panchariya for tabling a private member’s Bill – The Illegal Immigrants (Identification and Deportation) Bill, 2018 – in the recently-concluded session of the Upper House, and said that it is nothing but a ploy to enact the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in another guise.

Saikia said that MP Panchariya had moved the Bill as a result of the fierce opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Assam. He said that since the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is being roundly decried as an implement to protect a section of illegal migrants on the basis of their religion, Panchariya is now trying to sugar-coat the BJP’s divisive agenda with provisions like creation of National and State Commissions to control the process of identifying and deporting illegal migrants and confiscation of their property.

However, Saikia pointed out that the nefarious motive behind the Bill tabled by Panchariya is exposed by Section 10, which states: “The Central Government may, if it considers so in national interest, exempt any illegal immigrants or any class of illegal immigrants from deportation or any other provisions of this Act.” The attempt to vest the Central Government with this sort of discretionary power in matters of citizenship, especially at a time when Assam stands ravaged by the problem of illegal migrants, is against the letter and spirit of the Constitution, Saikia said.

The ACLP leader added that Section 14 of the Bill is similarly loaded with anti-Assam intent, as can be gauged from the proposal that “the Provisions of this Act shall have effect notwithstanding anything inconsistent therewith contained in any other law for the time being in force.” This is a poorly-disguised attempt to nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord, Saikia said.

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