GUWAHATI: The AGP has dropped broad hints to support the new version of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) which will be tabled in the ongoing winter session of the Parliament.
“We have learned a lot and gathered enough experiences by carrying out agitations in the last 35 years. Detection and deportation of illegal foreigners is not so easy task. The prime hurdle in the exercise is Bangladesh’s refusal to accept illegal Bangladeshis staying in Assam. In view of the changing scenario, we have to give a relook and rethink our entire perspective and perception on the issue of illegal foreigners. Now we want to discuss the issue with logic sans emotion,” AGP president Atul Bora told reporters outside the Assembly secretariat on Tuesday.
Bora further said some organizations and individuals are opposing the CAB.
“We also opposed the CAB in 2016 and my party came out of the present BJP-led government in Assam in 2018 for the same issue. No one told us to quit the government. At that time, the BJP did not have the majority in Rajya Sabha. Now the proposed new version of CAB is likely to be passed in both Houses of the Parliament since the ruling party has the numbers. In view of the changing equation of the ruling BJP in Parliament, we will now have to think about the Constitutional safeguards that are required to safeguard the identity of the indigenous Assamese people through Clause 6 of Assam Accord,” Bora said.
The AGP president also said that the people of Assam must have linguistic and cultural safeguards. He added that reservation of seats — both in Assembly and Parliament — for the indigenous people must be ensured.
Bora pointed out that the original deadline for detection and deportation of illegal foreigners during the Assam Agitation was 1951. He said the Assam Accord, however, set 1971 as the new cut-off year.
“But the historic Assam Accord gathered dust in the corridors of power during the last 35 years. Clause 6 of the Accord was not implemented. Some organizations and individuals want to pull out the AGP from the present government in Assam. But now we will work as per the mandate of the people of Assam. We will take all party decisions as per inner conscience and judgment. We will not act at the dictats of others,” Bora said.
The AGP leadership held discussions on the CAB with Union Home Minister Amit Shah in New Delhi on November 30.