The BJP top brass has expressed its sheer unhappiness over the stand of Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly Hitendra Nath Goswami and few other BJP legislators who had gone public opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
While Assam Legislative Assembly speaker Goswami had expressed his apprehensions over the Citizenship Bill through a letter to the media and said that the BJP central leadership were in a hurry to pass the Bill in Lok Sabha, five legislators Atul Bora, Rituparna Baruah, Padma Hazarika and Debananda Hazarika, Binod Hazarika had also made statements to the media over the Bill.
“The party is absolutely clear on its stand the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. The party is for implementing the Bill across the country. There cannot be a second thought on the Bill. Central leadership has made it very clear and those opposing the Bill should think for alternatives,” said a senior BJP legislator who attended the closed door meeting chaired by BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav on Thursday.
Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam state president Ranjit Dass, health minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and few others also attended the meeting.
“The statements made by the legislators, particularly by Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly, have put the party in embarrassing situation. If there is an issue, the leaders should first raise those in party forum. They simply cannot go public against party policies,” the legislator quoted Ram Madhav as saying.
“They should have raised the issue in party forum first. What does the Speaker and five other legislators want to prove by making public statements?” he said while quoting Ram Madhav.
He said that the party’s national general secretary took strong note of the developments and said that the party as well as the government is in an embarrassing situation due to the statements made by the Speaker and other four legislators, particularly ahead of the Lok Sabha polls and the ongoing situation in Assam.
Meanwhile, some of the BJP legislators also raised their genuine concern over the Bill and wanted a clarification from the Central leadership about the deadline of December 2014.
“Some of our legislators wanted to know if deadline for granting citizenship to these minority communities will remain December 31, 2014 (which is in the notification) or it will be extended further in future,” said the BJP leader on condition of anonymity.