Passage of Citizenship Amendment Bill to sound death knell of coalition: Mahanta
By our State Reporter
GUWAHATI, Dec 23: The AGP-BJP bonhomie at Dispur seems to head for an unexpected sting in the tail! The situation has come to such a pass now that former Chief Minister and founder AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta has said that the 'passage' of the Citizenship Amendment Bill is going to sound the death knell of the tie-up between the two parties at Dispur.
Talking to the media at Guwahati on Sunday, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said: “Let not happens the worst! The 'passage' of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament, if it at all happens, will sound the death knell of the AGP-BJP tie-up at Dispur. We’re in no way ready to allow the violation of the Assam Accord. In the event of the Citizenship Amendment Bill becoming an Act, it will spell doom for the indigenous people of Assam. The number of Assamese speakers is on the fall in Assam. Illegal infiltration from Bangladesh is solely responsible for the population boom in the State.”
AGP MLA Pabindra Deka, on the other hand, said: “Citizenship Amendment Bill wasn’t mentioned in the BJP’s poll manifesto. By bringing this Bill now, the BJP is scripting a tragic end our bonhomie with an unexpected sting in the tail. Any amendment to the Citizenship Act will lead to the second Assam Agitation. We aren’t accountable to the BJP, but certainly we’re accountable to the people of Assam.”
Meanwhile, State BJP general secretary Dilip Saikia said: “A wrong impression is being made on the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Assam. We supported the amendment to the Act in 2004 and in 2016. However, the burden of foreigners will have to be shouldered equally by all States. Assam alone won’t be allowed to stagger under the burden of foreigners. We’re here to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.”
Heat on the Citizenship Amendment Bill is felt equally in New Delhi and in Guwahati, beating the winter chill. A delegation each of the AGP and the BJP met Union Home Minister Rajth Singh on the Bill on Friday. While the BJP requested Singh to help the Bill get its passage, the AGP requested him to withdraw the Bill by respecting the mandate of the people of Assam.