Citizenship Bill
KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi with leaders of other organisations speaking to reporters in Guwahati on Saturday.

As many as 42 organizations have jointly called for a 12-hour Assam bandh on October 23 in protest against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Assam’s influential peasants’ organisation, Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) chief Akhil Gogoi on Saturday said the leaders of 42 organisations of the state in a meeting here have decided to call the bandh on October 23 in protest against the BJP government’s decision to go ahead with the controversial Citizenship Bill.

Gogoi also slammed the joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill for going to hold meeting with the officials of Union ministry of Home affairs and External affairs ministry on the bill without visiting Assam for the second time to take the views of individuals and organisations of the state, who are opposing the bill.

“When the JPC had visited Assam in May this, the panel assured us that it would visit the state once again but now without paying any visit, they are going to hold meeting with Home as well as External Affairs ministry. We strongly oppose such a move,” Gogoi told reporters here.

On October 23, the JPC will be meeting in New Delhi to hear opinion from officials of Union ministry of Home affairs and External affairs ministry on the bill.

Meanwhile, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), an ally of the BJP government in Assam, is going to hold a mass rally in Assam on October 23 opposing the Bill.

Senior AGP leader Kamala Kalita told reporters that AGP delegation will be going to New Delhi and meet every JPC members.

“We have met the JPC during its hearing in Assam and expressed our reservations regarding the proposed Bill. We are not going to accept the passing of the Bill at any cost,” Kalita said.

The bill aimed at making minority communities such as Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for applying for Indian citizenship is under the consideration of Joint parliamentary committee of both the Houses.

The 42 organisations have also opposed the proposed mass rally in Guwahati which has been scheduled for November 17. Several Bengali organisations have planned this rally against alleged ‘anomalies’ in NRC.

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