Former Assam chief minister and AGP founder president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on December 16 slammed the government for suspending the internet services in the state in a bid to control the ongoing protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA). He also held Assam government responsible for disrupting the citizenship issue by not opposing the controversial act.

With the internet suspension continuing for the fifth continuous day, the former two-time chief minister said that the government is scared of the people’s movement.

“To put a ban on the freedom of expression is unfortunate. The government is scared and has put a ban on the electronic medium of communication. But do remember that even during the time of freedom movement, there were no internet or any such system but the people came out together in huge numbers. So, you can’t stop the movement of the people,” Mahanta said.

He termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s tweet to congratulate the people of Assam on the passing of the CAA as ridiculous saying that the PM was not aware of the widespread protests across the state.

“As a PM he should be getting all the reports what is happening in the state. But in spite of that, his tweet of congratulating the people is ridiculous,” Mahanta said.

Mahanta who has been vocal against the CAA ever since it was initiated also said that the citizenship issue which was about to be solved with the update of National Register of Citizens (NRC), the state government has disrupted the entire process.

“First they (state government) didn’t ‘approve’ the NRC whereas the Centre welcomed it. Now with the CAA, it’s a way of welcoming more migrants from other countries. If other states can oppose the act, why can’t Assam government,” Mahanta insisted.

He further said that the clause 6B of the CAA mentions that the migrants from the neighbouring countries would not be needing any documents to submit while applying for the citizenship which would encourage in thronging more illegal foreigners.

Clearing the air that the fight against the CAA is not against the Bengalis, Mahanta said that it’s about the illegal migration.

“The Bengali people who have been living here are already part of the Assamese society. It’s not against them,” he added.

Unlike his party colleagues, Mahanta termed it unfortunate that AGP voted in favour of the CAA.

Mahanta also sought for a special assembly session in the state to discuss the issue of CAA. Earlier, Congress and AIUDF too sought a special assembly session.

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