The Assam BJP has warned party legislator Rituparna Boruah, who has openly opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 for going against the party’s stand on the bill.
Sources said Assam BJP leadership has asked the Lahowal MLA to refrain from making any unauthorized comments on the citizenship Bill and against the party.
“Although no formal letter has been issued, Boruah has been asked verbally to stay away from making any anti-party statements on the Bill,” said a party insider, who is privy to the development.
In an embarrassment for the government, Boruah, who is known as close associate of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, had come out to speak openly against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
“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,” Baruah had said.
He further said the sedition charge on scholar Hiren Gohain was slapped without knowledge of Chief Minister Sonowal.
“To damage the image of Chief Minister Sonowal, the case against Gohain was registered without his knowledge,” he had said.
Another BJP legislator Debananda Hazarika on Wednesday openly spoke out against the Bill.
“A foreigner is a foreigner. Religion cannot be the basis on which a section of foreigners can be granted citizenship. I cannot accept the Bill,” Bihpuria MLA Hazarika said.
He added that no migrant, irrespective of religion, should be granted citizenship.
BJP legislator Atul Bora, who represents Dispur constituency in the Assam assembly, reiterated his stand against the Bill.
“My stand on Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is clear … My party may have a different stand on the Bill, but I maintain mine. Our CM (Sarbananda Sonowal) should take a cue from the Meghalaya government,” Bora said.
Earlier Jorhat MLA and Assam Assembly speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami, Chabua MLA Binod Hazarika and Sootea legislator Padma Hazarika also spoke out against the Bill.
While Baruah said Fissures within Assam BJP over Citizenship Bill widen the Bill would legitimise illegal migrants, the Sootea legislator said he supported Assam Accord’s March 25, 1971 as the cut-off date for detection and deportation of foreigners, said a TOI report.