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AASU’s national pressure group strategy against Citizenship Bill

GUWAHATI, May 17: Fierce antagonism against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 has entered a new phase with the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) taking a zestful new leap forward to create a political pressure group at the national level by roping in as many as 11 political parties so far. The students’ body has already met Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and elicited his opposition against the Bill.

The AASU has adopted such a strategy to create a force at the national level that can strongly oppose the Bill inside Parliament and outside it. The students’ body is trying to rope in more parties in its fold to oppose the anti-Assam Bill. This will be a strategy parallel to the agitations against the Bill by various parties and organizations in the State.
At a press meet here on Thursday, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya quoted Nitish Kumar as saying: “Illegal infiltration of foreigners continues to be a threat to the indigenous people of Assam. The problem of foreigners in Assam has to be solved based on the Assam Accord. I’ll write to the Prime Minister on this issue. Under no ethics, citizenship can be based on religion.”

This apart, according to AASU president Dipanko Kumar Nath and general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi, Nitish Kumar has also extended his support to as many as 16 issues, including constitutional safeguards for the indigenous people of Assam, total sealing of India-Bangladesh border, inking of a bilateral agreement between India and Bangladesh for deportation of Bangladeshis, and others raised by it.

Now the AASU is set to hold talks with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandra Babu Naidu, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, besides leaders of other political parties.
At his meeting with the AASU leaders, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh was on record saying that the Centre is not going to do anything that may dilute the Assam Accord.

Taking a dig at Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Bhattacharjya has asked him if the second battle of Saraighat is equivalent to according Indian citizenship to Hindu Bangladeshis.

The 11 parties which the AASU has already met are the BJD, TMC, Siromoni Akali Dal, TDP, DMK, AIDMK, CPI(M), CPI, BPF, Congress(I) and the BJP. The student leaders have met some Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) members as well.