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May 10, 2018

Rift in Assam BJP over Citizenship Amendment Bill

GUWAHATI: Rift surfaced in Assam BJP with MLA Atul Bora writing a letter to chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal requesting him to take a stand like Meghalaya did on the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The Conard Sangma-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance(MDA), which also has BJP in the coalition, has decided against the bill. The state cabinet has unanimously decided to say no to the amendment.
Bora, a former minister, wrote to Sonowal, "You fought a legal battle against Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) Act, 1983 (IMDT)and earned the recognition as Jati Nayak(Hero of the Race). Like the Conrad Sangma government which decided against the bill in a historic cabinet meeting, you too take a stand and once again establish that you are indeed a Jati Nayak."
"I am thankful to you for not including me in the recent expansion of your council of ministers, for I would have been the lone person in the ministry opposing the bill," Bora said.
A committee headed by BJP MP Rajendra Agrawal met several organizations in Silchar. The committee will interact with organisations in Shillong on May 10 and 11.
Agarwal said, "Around 315 organisations submitted representations in Barak valley during two days. The committee heard these organisations out. We have to take into consideration the Assam accord and the ongoing Supreme Court-monitored national register of citizens (NRC). We have heard different organisations and we will think on it."
The Assam Congress is sharply divided on the amendment bill, with several leaders from Bengali-dominated Barak valley supporting the bill while Pradesh Congress has opposed it.
The party has issued a show cause notice to former minister Dr Ardhendu Kumar Dey, who supported the bill, for going against the party's stand.
Former chief minister Tarun Gogoi criticized chief minister Sonowal and minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for maintaining silence on the bill at a time when the matter has evoked sharp reactions in the state.
The bill for making minority communities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible to apply for Indian citizenship is under consideration of JPC of both the Houses.

Source : Economic Times
 

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