‘Can’t allow Assam to be another Kashmir’
New Delhi: Defending the controversial citizenship bill, Assam’s Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Friday said its implementation is a must for the state to ensure it does not face a Kashmir-like situation in the future.
He claimed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill can be an “opportunity” for not just Assam but the entire Northeastern part of the country.
Assam and other Northeastern states have been witnessing strong protests over the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government’s attempt to pass the citizenship bill in Parliament.
The bill seeks to grant citizenship to people from minority communities -- Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians -- from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India even if they don’t possess any proper document. The bill was passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8 but the Rajya Sabha did not take it up in the winter session.
“People need to understand this is not an Assam specific bill and the burden of these refugees will be shared by the entire country. In fact, it will protect 17 important assembly seats of Assam from going to Front led by Badruddin Ajmal,” Sarma said.