CITIZENSHIP FOR HINDU REFUGEES
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, Aug 8: The initiative of the rendra Modi government at the Centre to grant citizenship to religious minorities from Bangladesh and Pakistan was questioned in the Assembly on Monday by the BJP-led government’s alliance party leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta.
Raising the matter in the House, Mahanta asked the State government to make its stand clear and said this initiative of the Centre would be against the Assam Accord. “If it becomes reality, Assam will have to bear the burden of refugees who came from Bangladesh after 1971 and the existence of the indigenous people of the State will come under threat,” said Mahanta. He also wanted to know whether the Assam government has discussed with the Centre the problems the State is likely to face as a fallout of the decision.
In his reply on behalf of the Chief Minister, State Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary gave an answer which was unsatisfactory and confusing. “The bill on this issue is yet to be passed in Parliament and the Government of India has not shared the contents of the bill with the Assam government. So, the question of objection to the bill or support to the same doesn’t crop up at this juncture,” said Patowary.
Patowary further stated that Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal is very much concerned with the matter and that’s why he has kept the Assam Accord Implementation department with him and is monitoring its work very closely.