GUWAHATI: The Congress will not allow the implementation of CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act) in Assam if the party comes to power in the State, reiterated former Union Minister and senior party leader Manish Tiwari while addressing the media in Rajiv Bhawan here on Thursday.
He added, "The CAA is totally unconstitutional and illegal. Religion can never be the yardstick for determining citizenship of people. I had commenced the debate against CAA in the Parliament. When the Supreme Court would commence hearing on CAA, I believe that the unconstitutional aspect of this contentious Act will be exposed. "
Flaying the saffron party, the Congress leader said, "The masses should understand the very ethos of the BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party). Else, a time will come when this party will take away all the Constitutional rights enjoyed by the people of Northeast India."
Giving instances to buttress his claim, Tiwari said, "Before the BJP signed the 'Agenda of Alliance' with the PDP (People's Democratic Party) on March 1, 2015, it had assured in writing to the PDP that all Constitutional rights enjoyed by the people of the State will continue. However after coming to power at the Centre in 2019, the BJP took away the special status of the State on August 5, 2019.
"On October 31, 2019, the BJP re-constituted the former State of Jammu & Kashmir into two union territories — 'Jammu and Kashmir' and 'Ladakh'. This is an unconstitutional move. It was never done in the previous 70 years. A similar step was taken with respect to Delhi. During the last Union Budget session, the BJP government took away its status of a limited State.
"The people of Northeast should analyse these steps of the BJP government. The day is not far when the saffron party will target Articles 371(B), 244(A), 232, and the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution of India. And, the people of NE States will lose their special status."
Tiwari added, "The living conditions of 27 crore of the Indian citizens living below the poverty line (BPL) were upgraded during the tenures of the UPA (United Progressive Alliance) government at the Centre from 2004 to 2014. However during the last seven years of the BJP-led coalition government at the Centre, living conditions 27 crore of people in the country went below BPL.
"The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the country was 7.8 % annually during the time of the UPA time. But during the BJP regime, the GDP has come down to minus 7.7%," said Tiwari, adding, "The policies of the Central government have direct impacts on the economies of the States and Union Territories.
"The overall development of any economy largely depends on communal harmony among the masses. The very model of the BJP revolves around polarisation of the people on the lines of religions. However, the Congress believes on boosting development through communal harmony among the masses."