In a significant development, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a key ally of the BJP, will move a resolution against controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, in a special cabinet meeting at Dispur on Friday, The Economic Times reported.
Already there is pressure on chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to take a stand like Meghalaya’s, where Conard Sangma-led Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) — which also has BJP in the coalition — has decided against the bill.
AGP on Thursday held a meeting to discuss the emerging situation. Ever since the visit of the Joint parliamentary committee (JPC) on Citizenship, Assam has plunged into a series of protests.
For the time being, AGP is not considering snapping ties with BJP, and will continue to oppose the bill from within the government.
Sonowal will hold discussions with 28 agitating organisations including the All Assam Students Union (Aasu) on Friday. This is being seen as the chief minister’s attempt to reach out to these organisations.
“There was a discussion in today’s meeting on moving a resolution opposing the bill in the cabinet,” the newspaper quoted AGP president and Assam agriculture minister Atul Bora as saying.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Thursday met chief minister Sonowal and assured that the Centre will take any further step regarding the bill only after thorough consultation with all stakeholders. All efforts will be made to address the concerns of the people of Assam in this regard, he said.
Meanwhile, in an unprecedented move, former chief ministers Tarun Gogoi and Prafulla Kumar Mahanta — who are political opponents of each other — addressed a gathering organised by Left parties in Guwahati against the bill.