In a surprise move enough to send ripples across the nation, Assam’s Srimanta Shankardev Sangha has asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi not to come for its ensuing Morigaon session.
The unprecedented gesture of the largest non-political religious organization of the State comes in the light of severe protests across nook and corners of the State against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Notably, the forthcoming Morigaon session of the Sangha was expected to be one of the biggest in recent history and the Prime Minister was the cynosure among the gallery of prominent guests proposed to be invited to the session.
However, the Sangha in an exemplary move on Sunday cancelled the invitation to the Prime Minister urging him not to visit the State for the session.
The decision of the Sangha was communicated to the Prime Minister’s office on Sunday, viewed as a major backlash in the light of the BJP-led Central Government’s forceful move to pass the contentious bill in the Parliament paving way for granting citizenship to Hindus from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The decision of the Sangha is also a major embarrassment for the head of the state at a time when Assam in particular and the Northeast in general are on the boil over the citizenship bill and the country is going for the general elections couple of months later.
Talking to Northeast Now, the newly appointed office-bearer of the Sangha, Kamalakanta Gogoi said on Sunday that, ‘Modi is the Prime Minister today. He may not remain in the position tomorrow. But we will not indulge in anything that will hurt the sentiments of the people of Assam.’
“The situation is quite volatile in the State over the citizenship bill. So we desire that Modi does not come for the Morigaon session. We don’t want to do anything against the Assamese community,” Gogoi further said.
Notably, the invitation letter for the 88th Morigaon session of the largest religious organization of the Northeast which has a considerable standing in the socio-cultural fabric of Assam, does not feature the name of Narendra Modi who was earlier scheduled to attend the session as special invitee.
A decision to invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taken at the executive meeting of the Sangha held in the month of September last year.
However, the Sangha is still undecided over inviting the BJP leadership of the State.
The officer-bearers of the Sangha also reiterated that as a regional organization, it will always oppose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
The Morigaon session of the Sangha is scheduled for February 6 to 9 next.