A view of the APCC press conference. Northeast Now

After massive protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 during the public hearing conducted by the Joint Parliamentary Committee’s (JPC) in Guwahati on May 7, now the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) has decided to launch a mass signature drive against the Bill.

It may be mentioned that though the Congress had earlier was in favour of the Bill, the State Congress recently changed its stand and decided to oppose the Bill.

Also read:  JPC conducts first day’s hearing on Citizenship Bill 2016 at Silchar

However, differences have also been seen among party leaders of the Brahmaputra Valley and the Barak Valley.

While APCC President Ripun Bora and Assam Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Leader Debabrata Saikia came out against the Bill during the hearing in Guwahati, All India Mahila Congress President and Silchar MP Sushmita Dev has voiced in support of the Bill while Congress’ Karimganj North MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha and former Congress Minister Gautam came out in support of the Bill during JPC’s public hearing at Silchar on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference at the Rajiv Bhavan in the city on Wednesday, APCC President Bora said, “The APCC will launch a mass signature drive in protest against the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 from May 14 to May 24 and for that we have categorised the State into eight zones.”

The APCC will hold its mass-signing programmes in North Assam on May 14, Middle Assam on May 15, Central Assam on May 16, Upper Assam on May 18, Hills Zone on May 19, Lower Assam on May 21, BTAD Zone on May 22 and Barak Valley on May 24, informed Ripun Bora.

Bora further said, “During the drive, the APCC will accumulate views from the people of remote areas of the State on the issue and will submit another memorandum before the JPC.”

The APCC has already submitted a memorandum before the JPC demanding immediate withdrawal of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016 on May 7 at the public hearing conducted by the JPC in Guwahati on the Bill.

Talking to media, Bora also said that the memorandums from different Block Congress and District Congress Committees would be sent to the JPC separately through the District Magistrates or Circle Officers of respective districts.

The press conference was also attended by former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, former Minister Rakibul Hussain and Koliabor MP Gaurav Gogoi.

The second day’s public hearing on the Bill conducted by the JPC at NIT, Silchar will end on Wednesday.

Kalpajyoti Saikia

Kalpajyoti Saikia is Senior Reporter of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: kalpasaikia649@gmail.com

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