As protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019, continued across Assam, a delegation of ruling BJP MLAs on December 19 called on Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, requesting him to accelerate measures for safeguarding the cultural and linguistic identity of the indigenous people of the state.
More than 10 legislators of the ruling party, including Prasanta Phukan, Padma Hazarika and Rhituparna Baruah, met the chief minister at his official residence in Guwahati.
Talking to reporters later, Phukan said, “We apprised him of the situation we are facing. I was nearly confined to my house for last eight days, and had to sneak out of Dibrugarh to reach Guwahati. The people are very concerned and we have requested the chief minister to convey these concerns to the highest level”.
He added that the BJP MLAs urged the chief minister to take expeditious measures for safeguarding the identity and language of the indigenous people.
Hazarika, also briefing reporters, said the delegation has sought early implementation of clause 6 of Assam Accord, which seeks to give constitutional safeguards to protect social, political, cultural and linguistic rights of the indigenous people.
The BJP has been at the receiving end of people’s ire over the CAA, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal Hindu, Parsi, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist and Christian migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who had entered India prior to December 31, 2014, without any documents.
People of Northeastern states, especially Assam and Tripura, are demanding its revocation as they fear being ‘overrun’ by non-Muslims from neighbouring Bangladesh.