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What is the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP)’s stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB)? Oppose it? Or support it?

Electorates are totally confused with AGP’s stand as there is a total ambiguity on the issue within the party itself.

Former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta has alleged that the AGP leadership is totally silent on the CAB “only to serve their own interests”, and it is not acceptable.

However, Mahanta, the founder president of AGP, is clear on his stance. He is going to oppose the CAB tooth and nail.

The former CM is not at all happy with the incumbent president of AGP, Atul Bora, on the issue.

So far, Bora, who is also Assam’s agriculture minister, has shown no signs of opposing the controversial CAB.

But, what would Atul Bora gain by his “silence” on the CAB?

The electorates, who had voted for the AGP, are opposing the controversial bill in totality.

According to them, the CAB goes against the foundation of the Assam Accord and the interest of the indigenous people of Assam.

Doesn’t Atul Bora understand that his silence on the issue is going to collapse his party’s captive vote bank?

At present, the loudest voice opposing the bill is of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).

Interestingly, Atul Bora is also an ex-president of AASU, did not think it twice to float the students’ wing of AGP – the Asom Chatra Parishad (ACP).

The AGP leadership had earlier decided to form only a youth wing – the Asom Yuva Parishad (AYP) — and not any students’ wing.

So, what was the sudden need to transform a proposed youth wing of AGP to a students’ organization?

Does it mean that the newly floated ACP will now be used to mainly to counter AASU on the CAB issue?

The move to float ACP raised many eyebrows as more than 95 per cent of AGP leaders were active AASU leaders.

And, the AGP was floated in 1985 after the six-year-long Assam Movement by the top leaders of AASU and AAGSP.

It is apparent that Atul Bora is silent on the CAB is primarily to continue as a minister in the BJP-led coalition in Assam.

Similar is the cause with the two other AGP ministers — Keshab Mahanta and Phani Bhushan Choudhury.

In addition to the three cabinet ministers, a large number of leaders of AGP are also chairman and vice-chairman in different state government undertakings.

As AGP was out of power for 15 years during Tarun Gogoi’s regime in Assam, and the section of leaders, who are “enjoying power” now, doesn’t want to lose it.

In a desperate face-saving statement, Atul Bora said Asom Chatra Parishad (ACP) was floated “to draw the youth towards regional politics.”

The AGP president definitely did not have any explanation as to how his ACP is going to be different from the AASU.

Doesn’t Atul Bora know that for the last five decades, AASU has been the “shining star of regionalism” in the northeast?

If Prafulla Kumar Mahanta continues with his anti-CAB stance, he is sure to be marginalized further in AGP.

Now, it is apparent that the AGP is supporting the CAB.

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Anirban Roy

Anirban Roy is Editor-in-Chief of Northeast Now. He can be reached at: editor@nenow.in