The Assam BJP leadership has asked the party legislator from Lahowal Rituparna Baruah to explain his position after he spoke out against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 during a meeting recently.
Baruah, who is known to be close to Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has recently said, “As people are opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, we cannot be oblivious to the people’s sentiment. This bill will hurt Assam Accord and we have promised in 2016 assembly polls that we will implement Assam Accord in letter and spirit.”
Sources in the Assam unit of the BJP on Wednesday confirmed that the party has asked Baruah to explain as to why he has made the statement before media. “Baruah was also asked not to make any statement before the media in future,” said a senior office bearer of the party.
“It’s not a formal explanation letter but the party top brass have asked him to clear his stand. He was also asked not to speak to the media,” said the party office bearer.
It may be mentioned here that at least three sitting BJP MLAs in Assam have spoken against the Bill, which the BJP is pursuing aggressively despite opposition from the states in the northeast and was also passed in the Lok Sabha recently.
Apart from Baruah, BJP MLA from Sootea and Dispur constituencies Padma Hazarika and Atul Bora respectively have made public statements against the Bill. While Hazarika said that he was with the people of Assam and his stand would be the stand of the people, Dispur MLA Atul Bora had stated that he had sent a letter to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on May 9 last year urging him that the Assam cabinet should take a stand like Meghalaya to oppose the Bill.
“I have sent a letter to the Chief Minister on May 9 in this regard. I have suggested that like Meghalaya Assam Cabinet should adopt a resolution to oppose the Bill. If I have antagonized anyone with this, I don’t care. I have been opposing the Bill and continue to do so,” Bora had stated recently.