GUWAHATI: In a significant development, opposition parties in Assam have declared their staunch opposition to any attempts by the Central government to enforce the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). This announcement follows Union Minister of State for Home, Ajay Mishra's statement that the final draft of the CAA legislation is expected to be ready by March.
The opposition parties, including Congress and Assam Jaitya Parishad (AJP), vehemently asserted that the people of Assam would not tolerate what they deem an 'unconstitutional' law, especially one conflicting with the provisions of the Assam Accord of 1985. The Assam Accord, crucial in the state's history, designates March 25, 1971, as the cut-off date for identifying illegal foreigners in the region.
Congress MP Abdul Khaleque emphasized the need for diplomatic efforts, urging the Central government to pressurize Bangladesh to safeguard the rights of Hindus living there. He criticized the alleged attempt to bring Hindus to India under the pretext of religious persecution, cautioning against the unintended consequences on religious institutions.
Debabrata Saikia, Leader of the Opposition in the Assam assembly, staunchly affirmed the Congress's resistance to the CAA, reiterating its conflict with the Assam Accord's provisions. Saikia asserted that the Accord's specified date for identifying illegal foreigners would not be compromised.
Lurinjyoti Gogoi, Chief of Assam Jaitya Parishad (AJP), echoed the sentiment, declaring that the people of Assam would not accept an unconstitutional legislation like the CAA. He emphasized that Assam is unwilling to bear the additional burden of foreigners and urged the Prime Minister to address the issue of rehabilitation in Gujarat.
Meanwhile, BJP legislator Jitu Goswami maintained the party's commitment to its promises, including those related to the CAA. He reassured that the BJP stands by its announcements and highlighted the Act's intention to provide citizenship to persecuted minorities from neighboring countries.
As the political discourse intensifies, the contrasting viewpoints on the CAA reflect the complex dynamics surrounding citizenship issues in Assam. The state's political landscape seems poised for further debates and negotiations on the contentious legislation.