Citizenship Amendment Bill
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Dec 29: ‘Undemocratic’ and ‘unconstitutiol’ are words that can brand the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 the best, said Axombhumi Surekha Sanmilan (ASS).
Talking to newsmen in Guwahati on Friday, ASS general secretary Ashok Kumar Bora said: “The Bill is an ominous sigl for Assam. It may spell doom for the State. We’re worried about it. If the Bill is translated into an Act by dumping the people’s mandate, the Assam Accord that had been reached after a six-year-long agitation in the State will be redundant. After signing the Assam Accord at mid-night on August 14, 1985, the inherent purpose of the mid-term poll by dissolving the then Hiteswar Saikia Government was to take opinion on the Accord. The people of Assam voted for the Assam Accord in large numbers. What was significant was that UMF got its birth to scuttle Assam Accord with linguistic minorities, including Muslims and Bengali Hindus under Gholam Osmani. However, they could win only 17 seats and failed to emerge as the Opposition party in the State. The election – tantamount to plebiscite or referendum – proved in no uncertain terms that the people of Assam were in favour of the Assam Accord.”
Bora said: “The Assam Accord has a cut-off date – March 24, 1971— for allowing foreigners entering Assam to stay in the State, regardless of their faith. By shouldering the responsibility of foreigners to have entered Assam prior to the cut-off date, the government disposed the issue of foreigners democratically and constitutiolly. In 1985 the Assam Accord was passed in Parliament leading to the Amendment of the Citizenship Act (applicable for Assam alone).” ASS president Bimal Chandra Saikia and another general secretary Jitendra th Bora were also present at the press meet.