GUWAHATI: The AGP is opposed to the enforcement of CAA (Citizenship Amendment Act)-2019 in the Brahmaputra valley, and will file a plea in the Supreme Court seeking the exemption. The regional party took this decision at a party meeting here on Sunday. Informing this to media, AGP president and Minister Atul Bora further said, “We will meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah in this regard. Since the other States of Northeast have been exempted from CAA, we have also decided to move the Supreme Court seeking exemption of the Brahmaputra Valley from the ambit of CAA.” He also informed that “a team of AGP leaders have already left for New Delhi to discuss the matter with advocates and put forth our plea before the apex Court.”
Bora further said, “We urge the Central government to discuss the issue of CAA with representatives of the AASU (All Assam Students Union), the AJYCP (Asam Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad), and the AXX (Axom Xahitya Xabha), and find out a solution.”
Meanwhile, sources informed that though the AGP is going to file a plea in the Supreme Court seeking exemption of the Brahmaputra Valley from the CAA, the regional party will remain in the Sarbananda Sonowal-led government in the State. It has also been learnt that the AGP will not oppose the CAA a a whole (in the context of entire country).
On Monday, the district and sub-divisional committees of the AGP will submit memoranda through the respective DCs and SDOs (Civil) to the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister for exempting the Brahmaputra Valley from the purview of the CAA.
“The AGP will also pressurize the Centre to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord,” Bora said, adding “we also request the Chairman of the high-level committee on Clause 6, Justice (retd) Biplab Kumar Sarma to submit the report as early as possible.”
The AGP will also seek implementation of several other issues before the PM and the Union Home Minister. These include reservation of at least 100 of the 126 LAC (Legislative Assembly Constituencies) seats and all the 14 Lok Sabha seats of Assam for the indigenous people so that the political rights of the Assamese are protected. Among other demands are introduction of ILP (Inner Line Permit) in Assam; granting of ST status for six communities of the State; and cent per cent reservation of Grade-IV jobs for the indigenous people.
Dwelling on the stand of the AGP on CAB as a whole, Bora said, “We opposed the CAB and now also we oppose the CAA. The people of Assam apprehend that if the CAA is implemented, the identity, languages and culture of the State will face challenges to their survival. The AGP has already informed the Central government of our consistent stand on the Citizenship Act. We have the moral support to the masses’ agitation against the CAA. The AGP respects all democratic means of public expression. But It’s unfortunate that in the name of agitation, some people are resorting to various forms of violence.
“A few vested interests, including the Congress, are trying to derive political mileage in the name of the present agitation. Some organizations have the right to agitate; but the Congress does not have any moral right to take to the streets on the Citizenship Amendment Act. This is primarily because during the tenure of Tarun Gogoi as the Chief Minister of Assam in 2014, they took a Cabinet decision to bring in safeguards for people from the neighbouring countries who had entered the State after 1971.”
When asked as to why the AGP Rajya Sabha MP, Birendra Prasad Baishya cast his vote in favour of CAB even though the party is opposing enforcement of CAA in the Brahmaputra valley, AGP working president and Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta said, “The party has not yet taken any decision to quit the NDA Government. As a partner, he followed the whip of NDA on this issue. But, MP Baishya did put up the views of AGP regarding the CAB on the floors of the upper House.”