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No way we’ll accept Citizenship Bill: AASU

 JPC hearing on Citizenship Bill in Assam from May 7

The BJP is bent on getting the passage of the Bill for creating its vote bank by bringing all Bangladeshi Hindus to Assam. If this really happens, it’ll deal a blow to Assamese language, literature and culture, besides pushing the jaati, maati and bheti of the State towards uncertainty
—  AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi

Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, May 4: On the eve of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) holding hearings on the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Assam, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) has spelt it out yet again that it is not going to accept the Bill. The students’ body has, however, welcomed the JPC for its bid to hold hearings on the Bill in the State.
Talking to The Sentinel on the Bill on Friday, AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said, “The JPC should refrain from giving its opinion in favour of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to the government, and the Government at the Centre should also follow suit by not trying to get the passage of the Bill in Parliament forcibly.”
Delving deep into the matter, Gogoi said: “The Assam Accord is the outcome of the sacrifice made by over 855 martyrs in the State during the Assam Agitation. Anyone from Bangladesh, regardless of  Hindu or Muslim, who entered Assam after the cut-off date – midnight of March 24, 1971 – as mentioned in the Assam Accord won’t be accepted as an Indian by the AASU. The Assam Accord has been accepted by all communities and nationalist organizations in the State. Any violation of the Assam Accord because of the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will lead to violations of the Accord at the drop of a hat. The BJP is bent on getting the passage of the Bill for creating its vote bank by bringing all Bangladeshi Hindus to Assam. If this really happens, it’ll deal a blow to Assamese language, literature and culture, besides pushing the jaati, maati and bheti of the State towards uncertainty.”
The Centre is already in an awkward position on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill with all organizations from Assam opposing it vehemently. Let alone social organizations, even BJP’s coalition partner at Dispur, the AGP too, has been opposing the Bill tooth and nail. The regional party has made it known that it will pull out of the coalition in the event of the Centre getting the passage of the Bill in Parliament.
The JPC, headed by MP Rajendra Agarwala, has already conducted a number of hearings on the Bill, and its last hearing was held on April 14 in Delhi. Now the JPC is bound for Assam with a three-day visit to the State for holding hearings on the Bill.  The parliamentary committee is going to hold hearings on the Bill both in the Brahmaputra and Barak valleys on May 7, 8 and 9. It will then hold such hearing in Shillong on May 10.

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Ankur Kalita