AGP Pulls Out Of BJP-Led Coalition In Assam Over Citizenship Bill

AGP Pulls Out Of BJP-Led Coalition In Assam Over Citizenship Bill

Protesters there are angry not because the bill excludes Muslims, but because it would grant citizenship to undocumented Hindus who failed to prove their citizenship and hence were excluded from the draft National Register of Citizens (NRC) published last July.

The controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 was passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday even as an Assam and North East region bandh was called against it.

Sangma's comments are important because his party is an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata party (BJP). "CRPF troopers after being unable to control the mob opened fire injuring six tribal youths, two of them seriously", said a police officer.

"It was not only the Muslim League that wanted to have Assam in that plan, but the same demand was also raised from inside the state at that point of time", said Sarma.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a partner in the BJP-led Assam government, broke up with the BJP while the NDA allies, the Shiv Sena and the JD (U), have opposed this legislation.

In the Lok Sabha, the Home Minister said leaders like former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Manmohan Singh have backed such a provision in the past.

While speaking in Silchar, Assam on Friday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterated the Centre's commitment to pass the Citizenship Amendment Bill. The bill made illegal migrants - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship. Mizoram and Meghalaya governments have also opposed the bill by adopting a resolution against it in their respective cabinet meetings.

Bora and the AGP leadership had promised that they would exit the alliance if the BJP advanced with the bill.

The NESO and its federal units in the seven Northeast states clamped the 11-hour bandh across the region on 8 January to protest against the bill. "The State has since India's independence absorbed waves of migrants from present day Bangladesh and can no longer do so", AGP president Atul Bora said after returning from New Delhi on Tuesday morning.

The JPC report said, "The new cut of date implies that no more migrants would be legally allowed India after December 31, 2014 and it should motivate every stakeholder including the central government and the state governments to work in unison to ensure putting in place foolproof measures to prevent illegal migrants from entering the country, especially Assam, which has borne the maximum impact of influx from Bangladesh".

"We decided for an alliance with the BJP based on understanding on the Assam Accord and other issues".

It is also part of the BJP-led North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA).

India's lower house of parliament has approved a bill that would grant residency and citizenship rights to non-Muslim immigrants, sparking protests that brought the country's populous northeast to a near standstill.

The minister said that not much was done over the past 35 years to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord which provides for taking steps to promote the social, cultural and linguistic identity of the state.

Roy and other members of the Trinamool Congress then staged a walkout.

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