‘Can’t al­low As­sam to be an­other Kash­mir’

DNA (Delhi) - - INDIA -

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.

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