After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, former spokesperson of the Assam BJP, Mira Borthakur and BJP’s Dispur MLA Atul Bora, it is now turn of BJP’s Guwahati Lok Sabha MP Bijoya Chakravarty to voice against the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.
Former Union Minister of State for Water Resources during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee regime, Chakravarty has reportedly opposed implementation of the Bill stating, “Assam has already taken the burden of foreigners till 1971 and the State cannot take any more burden.”
She also reportedly said that if there is the need to give shelter to Hindu Bangladeshis in India, then they should be settled in other States of the country and not Assam.
During the public hearing on the Bill conducted by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in Guwahati on May 7, 2018, a large number of organisations and individuals came out to oppose and express their views against the Bill.
If the Bill is passed then Hindu Bangladeshis along with Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – but not Muslims – who have entered India would be granted Indian citizens naturally after six years of their stay in the country.
The BJP, which has supported the Bill and wants implementation of the Bill seeking Indian citizenship to the Hindu Bangladeshis, has also faced wrath from most of the people from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam.
However, while most of the organisations and political parties in the State including the Congress, opposed the Bill during JPC’s public hearing in Guwahati, the BJP, all district committees of Congress in Barak Valley besides over 300 organisations came out in support of the Bill during the two-day public hearing conducted by the JPC in Silchar on April 8 and 9, 2018.
It may be mentioned that BJP’s Dispur MLA and former Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) Minister Atul Bora has dashed off a letter to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal stating his opposition to the Bill.
In the letter to the Assam Chief Minister, Dispur MLA Bora, who was one of the prominent leaders of the Assam Movement, which was led by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), urged Sonowal to prove himself as a true leader by denouncing the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 as the Conrad Sangma-led Meghalaya Cabinet, which has decided to oppose the Bill.