Will Leave Coalition if BJP Goes Ahead With Citizenship Bill: AGP

Disappointed over no assurance from BJP, Mahanta said that the ruling party could go ahead “to please a section”.

Published22 May 2018, 05:47 AM IST
2 min read

Former Chief Minister and Asom Gana Parishad leader, Prafulla Mahanta, has threatened to withdraw support from the BJP-led government in Assam, if the Centre sticks to the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.

“If the BJP does go ahead with the bill, then the alliance with us won’t remain,” Mahanta said to The Print.

Expressing disappointment over no assurance from the BJP, Mahanta said that the ruling party at the Centre could very well go ahead with the bill "to please a particular section". "Maybe not immediately, but before the 2019 Lok Sabha elections,” he said.

The AGP leader's remarks came a day after his party registered a protest against the controversial bill with the BJP president, Amit Shah, saying the bill was a threat to the indigenous people and violates the clauses of the Assam Accord.

AGP president and Agriculture Minister Atul Bora urged the BJP president at the third meet of the North East Democratic Alliance or NEDA in Guwahati to take the sentiments of the local people into consideration and ensure the bill is not passed, PTI reported.

The Bill, first introduced in the lower house of the parliament in 2016, amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians migrants from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.

We are strongly opposed to the Bill as it violates the clauses of the Assam Accord which was signed after six years of agitation in which 855 people had sacrificed their lives.
Atul Bora, AGP President 

The Assam Accord is the fruit of the six-year Assam agitation and we cannot let its clauses be violated, he said.

If the Bill is passed, it will '"threaten the identity of the indigenous people, change the demographic pattern of the state and there should be no division on the basis of religion," he pointed out.

"We hope Amit Shah-ji will realise the gravity of the situation that will result following the passing of the Bill, understand the sentiments of the people and not proceed with it in the interest of the indigenous population," he added.

(With inputs from PTI)

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