GUWAHATI: Former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta has dropped a broad hint that if the Centre overlooks the democratic rights and protests from the people of Assam and goes ahead to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the only option left is challenging the government in the court.
In a conversation with The Sentinel on Friday, the former Chief Minister talked on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which the future of Assam largely hinges on.
Mahanta said: “Any solution to the problem of foreigners in Assam without following the route of the Assam Accord isn’t acceptable to us. The Accord is the only route that can lead us to the solution of the problem of foreigners in Assam. We’ve formed the Asom Andolan Sangrami Mancha that held a public meeting in Guwahati and registered the first protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. A number of other organizations and parties came later raising their voices against the Bill. The Bill, if passed by the Parliament, is out to make the people of Assam minority in their own State.”
Mahanta has said that the protest against the Bill, in sync with the way the Centre has been going ahead with move to get its passage, should be more vigorous. “If the Centre continues to defy the protests from the people of Assam against the Bill and goes ahead to pass it, we’ve no alternative but to challenge the government in the court,” Mahanta said, and added: “Even as the Bill is meant for all over India, the Northeast, especially Assam, is the worst affected. This is because Assam is already staggering under the heavy burden of illegal Bangladeshis. If the Hindu Bangladeshis who’ve entered the State till December 31, 2014 are given shelter the burden of foreigners on Assam will be unbearable. This is not all. We’ve signed the Assam Accord. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is out to spell doom for the Accord as well.”
It was Sarbananda Sonowal, now the Chief Minister of Assam, who did get the anti-Assam IM(DT) Act abrogated by challenging it in 2005 by the Supreme Court of India.
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