GUWAHATI, May 7: The standoff between the BJP and AGP has become quite visible following the public hearing of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill-2016. The institutional partition between the parties have become so spacious that despite a partner of the BJP-led state government, the AGP has come out with strong opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill-2016.
The regional party, while submitting a memorandum to the JPC in its public hearing on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill-2016 in Guwahati on Monday said that the proposed Bill is in total violation of the constitution. “We as a ruling partner of the coalition Government in the state we vehemently oppose the proposed amendment and demand that the Government withdraw the same forthwith. The Bill proposing the amendment to the Citizenship Act, 1955, violets the very secular, socialist and democratic ideals by segregating the citizens into religious sects. Hence, we oppose the proposed Bill and demand that the same is withdrawn immediately”, said the AGP in a release.
AGP was formed after the 6 years long historical and unique Assam Movement that demanded complete expulsion of all foreign citizens who have entered into India illegally from across the border on the basis of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), 1951. Eight hundred fifty five brave activists of Assam Agitation had sacrificed their lives to save the country and its people from the silent invasion of illegal foreign migrants mainly from Bangladesh and the erstwhile East Pakistan. The historical Assam Accord was signed stipulating that, the foreign citizens who have entered into Assam and India illegally up to the midnight of 24 March 1971 will be allowed to settle in India and will be considered as Indian citizens. The illegal immigrants who have entered into Assam and India after that date will be detected and departed irrespective of their religion or origin of the country. The Indian citizenship Act 1935 was amended accordingly and suitable provisions have been made incorporating the gist of the historical Assam accord. By bringing the proposed Amendment, the very letter and spirit of that historical accord is sought to be negated by the government at the centre which we oppose in toto and demand that the same is withdrawn forthwith.
As per the historic Assam Accord, the process of updating the NRC is going on in full swing and nearing completion under the direct supervision of the Supreme Court. To bring such a Bill for consideration at this stage is not only a slap on the Assam accord, but also a negation of the wisdom and authority of the Supreme Court. Assam has already accommodated a huge number of illegal migrants in it soil as per the historical Assam Accord. The indigenous communities of Assam are facing a demographic challenge. Assam is not in a position to accept any more illegal migrants nor will accept them. The historical Assam Accord has cast responsibility on the government of India to make suitable provisions for safeguarding the identity, culture, language and way of life of the Assamese people.