ADVERTISEMENT

Opposition parties flay CAA rules notification, BJP welcomes move

Guwahati, Mar 11 (PTI) Opposition parties in Assam on Monday flayed the BJP government at the Centre for implementing the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), paving the way for granting citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan while the BJP has welcomed it. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which had spearheaded a six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants in 1979, said it would fight legally against the Centre's move.

Guwahati, Mar 11 (PTI) Opposition parties in Assam on Monday flayed the BJP government at the Centre for implementing the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 (CAA), paving the way for granting citizenship to undocumented non-Muslim migrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan while the BJP has welcomed it. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which had spearheaded a six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants in 1979, said it would fight legally against the Centre's move.

Congress leader of the opposition in Assam assembly Debabrata Saikia termed the notification of CAA as 'unfortunate'.

“When Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP had been saying since 2016 that all illegal foreigners will have to leave Assam, they betrayed the people of the state and brought in the CAA,'' Saikia told PTI.

The people of Assam will make the PM and the BJP answerable for it, he added.

Raijor Dal president and MLA Akhil Gogoi said, 'The process to legitimise 15-20 lakh Bangladeshi Hindus illegally living in Assam has begun. There is no other way but to come out on the street and protest against this unconstitutional act.'' Assam and several other northeastern states had witnessed widespread protests after the BJP-led government at the Centre moved towards amending the citizenship act in 2019.

A section of the people of the region were scared that if the CAA is implemented, it would endanger their identity and livelihood.

''This is Delhi's attack on Assam and the entire country. We appeal to all to come out and protest against this law peacefully and democratically,'' Gogoi told PTI.

'Assam's long struggle against illegal immigration has been nullified with just this one act. This act will also open the doors for 1.7 crore Hindus living in Bangladesh to cross over to Assam. There is no other option but to fight against this act with full force. It has to be an all-encompassing protest,' he said.

Chief advisor of AASU and North East Students’ Organisation Samujjal Bhattacharjya told PTI that they will not accept the CAA and will continue to protest against it.

“We are already in talks with our advocates and will continue our legal fight against its implementation,'' he said.

Meanwhile, BJP senior spokesperson Rupam Goswami welcomed the notification of the rules of the CAA saying it was much awaited'.

'There was a misinformation campaign by the opposition that crores of Hindus from Bangladesh would enter Assam after the law was passed by Parliament, but nothing of that sort has happened,'' Goswami said.

AIUDF MLA Ashraful Hussain told PTI that the BJP has implemented the CAA before the Lok Sabha polls as it is ''greedy for Bangladeshi Hindu votes''.

''They have done it only to win this election and also to fulfil BJP's Hindutva agenda by polarising the Hindu votes,'' he said.

The AIUDF protested the decision to implement the CAA as ''we favour Indian citizenship for anyone coming to Assam before March 25, 1971, and it should not be based on any religion or community'', Hussain said.

Assam Jatiya Parishad general secretary Jagadish Bhuyan told PTI that the people of Assam had protested against the CAA but the BJP ignored their emotions and notified the rules based on the strength of their numbers.

''The people of Assam will not forgive the BJP for this law which is against the interest of the Assamese people. This is not acceptable and we will continue to protest against it'', he said.

Bhuyan also accused union minister Sarbananda Sonowal who hailed from the state and Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma of being ''puppets in the hands of the BJP government at the Centre for their selfish interests. They have committed a crime against the Assamese people''.

Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) state president Bhaben Choudhury told PTI that it will be marked as a 'black day in Assam's history and the BJP will be remembered as a traitor for imposing the communal and anti-community CAA''.

AAP will continue to protest against this law, he said.

CPI(M)'s Assam secretary Suprakash Talukdar told PTI that this is a ''politically motivated step by the central government while the matter is already in the court''.

Earlier in Parliament, the Ministry of Home Affairs in a reply to a query had said that the government had no plans to introduce the law till it remains sub-judice, he pointed out.

'Notifying the rules now is just immoral and shows that the BJP does not have any respect for the rule of law. This Act is anti-Constitutional and highly communal, which violates the Assam Accord,'' he said.

The CPI(M) will protest against it as a party and as a part of the united opposition also, Talukdar added.

With the CAA rules being issued, the Modi government will now start granting Indian nationality to persecuted non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who came to India till December 31, 2014. These include Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians.

The CAA was passed in December 2019 and subsequently got the president's assent but there were protests in several parts of the country against it. Over a hundred people lost their lives during the anti-CAA protests or police action.

The law could not come into effect as rules had not been notified till now.

The protests against the Act in the state were led primarily by the All Assam Students Union (AASU) and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS).

The protests turned violent with five persons losing their lives to police firing in 2019 and the arrest of KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi along with four others, to be called off only with the onset of the pandemic.

It subsequently led to the creation of two new political parties in the state - the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), led by then AASU leader Lurinjyoti Gogoi and the Raijor Dal, headed by Akhil Gogoi. PTI DG SSG TR DG NN

syndicated stories

ADVERTISEMENT