Asom Gana Parishad president Atul Bora appealed BJP national president Amit Shah to understand the gravity of the situation regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, during the third convention of NEDA which took place in Guwahati on May 20.
During the speech, Bora requested Shah to relook the bill for the greater interest of the people of the state.
“I would like to draw the attention of Amit Shahji. AGP strongly opposes the Citizenship Amendment Bill which violates the clauses of Assam Accord. Assam Accord is the fruit of six-year long agitation for the existence of Assamese people. If passed, the bill will be a threat to the identity of the local people. It will change the demography of state of Assam and there shouldn’t be any division in the line of religion. We urge the Centre not to proceed with the bill. We hope Amit Shahji will certainly realize the gravity of the situation and he will do in the greater interest of the people,” Bora said.
Though AGP is an ally of the ruling BJP in the state, it has been opposing the bill ever since it was tabled in 2016. The Citizenship Amendment Bill endorses citizenship for non-Muslims from the neighbouring countries who have come to India till December 31, 2014.
However, according to Assam Accord, the cut-off date to identify illegal citizens is March 25, 1971, irrespective of religion, caste, creed and language.
The state has been witnessing mass agitation against the bill. Around 280 organizations have staged their opposition in the last several months.
Bora also raised the issues of providing constitutional safeguards to the people of Assam, providing ST status to the six communities of Assam and also to address the flood and erosion problem during his speech.
Hagrama Mohilary, chief of Bodoland People Front (BPF), another ally of the BJP, has marinated a more balanced view while speaking on the bill during his speech.