The Opposition Congress dared the ruling BJP-led coalition in Assam to seek a referendum on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, which has been facing widespread opposition from the people of the state.
Addressing a press conference in Guwahati, former chief minister Tarun Gogoi said, “If the BJP is so confident on its popular support, let them call a referendum on it (the CAA)”.
He also rubbished the BJP state president’s claim of winning 100 out of 126 seats in the state Assembly in 2021 elections.
Backing Gogoi, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Ripun Bora said, “If the BJP has confidence, they can call for a referendum to see whether the people support the CAA or not”.
AICC in-charge of Assam Harish Rawat, also present at the joint press meet, reiterated the Congress’ opposition to the CAA, claiming that it was against the ‘idea of India, the Constitution and the ideals of the Freedom Movement’.
Pointing that the country already has laws to deal with refugees, he said the present government should work within these, rather than bringing in a ‘new Modi-Shah divisive model’.
The former Uttarakhand chief minister further said, “If the Congress had the numbers (in Parliament), we would never have let CAA to come. The Congress governments will not implement it and when we come to power at the Centre, we will scrap it”.
Re-affirming Congress’ support to the anti-CAA protests in the state, Rawat said, “To express solidarity with the people and their democratic movement, our leader Rahul Gandhi will visit Guwahati tomorrow. He will address a public rally and also visit homes of two martyrs of the ongoing movement”.
State party chief Bora added that from tomorrow’s rally, the Congress will launch its movement to collect 20 lakh signatures against the CAA and send it to the President of India.
The Padyatra by the Congress, which has been suspended for the rally, will also resume from December 29 from Golaghat, he added.
Leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Debabrata Saikia reiterated the demand for a special session of the House to discuss the CAA.