Prafulla Kr Mahanta
File photo of Prafulla Kr Mahanta. Image credit - Facebook

Despite massive protests against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), 2019, the Assam government is yet to muster the courage to talk to the Centre regarding the issue.

Former Assam chief minister and senior Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta said this on Monday while addressing a press conference on Monday.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Meghalaya government led by chief minister Conrad Sangma met union home minister Amit Shah on Saturday and demanded that the ILP be introduced in the state.

He lauded the efforts of Meghalaya government, which has decided to hold a day-long special session of the State Assembly to take a resolution on implementing Inner Line Permit (ILP) so that the entire state is exempted from the CAA, 2019.

Also read: AGP may withdraw support from BJP govt: Prafulla Mahanta

The new legislation on citizenship would not be executed in three northeastern states – Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and Mizoram — where the ILP regime is applicable.

To exempt from the CAA, 2019, Union home minister Amit Shah assured that the ILP would be introduced in Manipur.

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi recently congratulated the people of Assam for passing the CAB. But is he aware of the protests which are going on over the bill in Assam? How can he turn a blind eye to the protests,” said Mahanta.

The CAB became an Act after President Ram Nath Kovind gave his assent to the bill on December 12.

The AGP is a partner of the BJP-led government in Assam and a part of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre.

While AGP leaders are yet to make their stand clear on the CAA, Mahanta has been opposing the contentious law.

“I hope that the AGP will oppose the Act. I also hope that good sense will prevail on the Centre and the CAA is not implemented in Assam,” he said.

The former CM also said while the majority of the AGP members are opposing the Act individually, the AGP leadership is yet to make the party’s stand clear on the issue.

He said in 2015, a conclave was organized and everyone decided to oppose the CAB, 2016.

“Today also, we appeal to all the people to oppose the CAA. The clause 6B of the CAA says one does not need any document to prove that he came to India due to religious persecution,” said Mahanta.

“The CAA is like a blanket order. There will be no cut-off date for getting citizenship and people will keep on coming,” he further said.