GUWAHATI: Former Chief Minister and founder AGP president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta has alleged that the AGP leadership has not been vocal against the CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) only to serve their own interests, and that is not acceptable. He, however, stressed that the AGP will continue to oppose the CAB even if the party leadership does not.
The former Chief Minister has all along been opposing the CAB, and has now brought a serious allegation that the top leaders of the party have not been opposing the controversial Bill only for power.
Addressing a press conference here on Friday, Mahanta said, “The AGP has been opposing the CAB from the very beginning. The Bill goes against the Assam Accord and the indigenous people of the State. Since the BJP has a comfortable strength in the Lok Sabha, it can pass the Bill. However, the language, literature and the culture of the indigenous people of the State will be at stake if the Bill is passed. The AGP will continue to oppose the CAB even if the party leadership doesn’t. Opposing the CAB is the decision of the party. However, the party leadership is suspending those who oppose the CAB. All AGP leaders in the State Cabinet should be vocal against the CAB.”
When asked on the newly formed Asom Chatra Parishad (ACP), Mahanta said, “I was not invited to the meeting where the students’ wing of the party was formed. Even if I had been invited, I wouldn’t have gone to the meeting. This is because there’s already the AASU (All Assam Students’ Union). Since the AASU is a national organization of students in Assam, the AGP’s earlier decision was to form only a youth wing – the Asom Yuva Parishad (AYP) — and not any students’ wing.”
Mahanta has appealed to all organizations of the Northeast to get united to oppose the CAB.
Meanwhile, senior AGP leader and State Food and Civil Supplies Minister Phani Bhushan Choudhury reacted sharply to Mahanta’s statement, and said that what the former Chief Minister had alleged was not based on fact. Choudhury dared Mahanta to prove in the party forum that “the AGP leadership is not opposing the CAB, even as the party is vehemently against the Bill”.