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AGP seeks President’s intervention

Citizenship Bill

GUWAHATI, June 13: With all its earlier moves against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seem to have little impact on the Centre, and as if as its last resort, the AGP has met the President of India seeking his intervention for the withdrawal of the Bill.

The regional party has left no stone unturned to get the Bill revoked. To get the Bill withdrawn, the party has met Prime Minister Narendra Modi once, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh twice, the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) twice and raised the issue at the recently held NEDA conclave in Guwahati in front of BJP’s national president Amit Shah. The party also raised the issue at the Cabinet meeting held on June 1, besides resorting to a whole lot of agitations against the Bill in Assam, including a signature campaign.

With all such measures seem to have little impact on the Centre, a team of the AGP Legislature Party (AGPLP) led by party president and minister Atul Bora, two other ministers Keshab Mahanta and Phani Bhushan Choudhury, and some MLAs met President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Wednesday. The AGPLP team let the President of India know that the people of Assam have objections against the Bill that is set to change the already changed demography of Assam further, posing a threat to the indigenous people of the State. “If the existence of the indigenous people of Assam comes under threat after the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 it will have its cascading effects on rest of India since the onus of protecting Assam or any other State lies with the Centre as the custodian,” a source quoted AGP president Atul Bora as telling the President, adding: “Since the Assam Accord is an all-accepted document in the State, it should be the only basis for detection and deportation of foreigners in the State.”

Talking to the media in New Delhi later in the day after meeting the President, Bora said: “The President of India has given us a patient hearing.”

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Ankur Kalita