As­sam Cong to CM: Quit BJP, form unity govt

◗ There have been spec­u­la­tion that a large num­ber of BJP leg­is­la­tors who mi­grated to the party just be­fore 2016 polls are also un­der pres­sure from their ear­lier or­gan­i­sa­tions

The Asian Age - - Front Page - MANOJ ANAND

Amid the on­go­ing po­lit­i­cal ram­bling over the Cit­i­zen­ship Amend­ment Bill and the re­gional Asom Gana Parishad with­draw­ing sup­port from the BJPled gov­ern­ment, the Op­po­si­tion Con­gress has ap­pealed to As­sam chief min­is­ter Sar­bananda Sonowal to quit the saf­fron party with the MLAs loyal to him.

Vet­eran Con­gress leader De­babrata Saikia said: “Mr Sonowal him­self and many BJP MLAs have said in the past that they will never sup­port any cause which is detri­men­tal to As­sam or the As­samese peo­ple. Since a large sec­tion in As­sam is op­posed to the Cit­i­zen­ship Bill, Mr Sonowal ( and) his sup­port­ers should quit the BJP.” Mr Saikia, who is also Leader of the Op­po­si­tion in the As­sam Assem­bly, said: “We are will­ing to sup­port a Sonowal- led gov­ern­ment, from within or out­side, if the chief min­is­ter takes up our of­fer.”

The Con­gress move came soon after an em­bar­rass­ing de­vel­op­ment for the rul­ing BJP, in which Assem­bly Speaker Hi­ten­dra Nath Goswami said: “The de­ci­sion to pass the Cit­i­zen­ship ■

■ Con­tin­ued from Page 1 ( Amend­ment) Bill 2016 in the Lok Sabha was an act in haste, which was done with­out tak­ing the indige­nous peo­ple of As­sam into con­fi­dence.” A for­mer AGP leader, who joined the BJP just be­fore the 2016 Assem­bly polls, he went on say­ing: “The waves of in­ci­dents cen­tred around the Cit­i­zen­ship ( Amend­ment) Bill 2016 here in ( the) past few days have touched me per­son­ally. While hold­ing a con­sti­tu­tional post, along with my per­sonal hopes, it is my duty to show re­spect to my coun­try’s demo­cratic sys­tem.” Mr Goswami, who was also con­sid­ered the think tank of re­gional nar­ra­tives, added: “I think the Cen­tral and state gov­ern­ments would give re­spect to views and opin­ions ex­pressed by the peo­ple of As­sam and adopt im­me­di­ate and ap­pro­pri­ate mea­sures to re­solve the present un­rest in the state, which was cre­ated after Lok Sabha passed the Cit­i­zen­ship ( Amend­ment) Bill with­out tak­ing the peo­ple of As­sam into con­fi­dence.”

There have been spec­u­la­tion that a large num­ber of BJP leg­is­la­tors who mi­grated to the party just be­fore 2016 polls are also un­der pres­sure from their ear­lier an­ces­tral or­gan­i­sa­tions like stu­dents’ bod­ies and re­gional forces to quit the BJP and mount pres­sure on the gov­ern­ment to with­draw the Cit­i­zen­ship Bill, which is await­ing the Ra­jya Sabha’s ap­proval. The BJP has 62 seats in the 126- mem­ber Assem­bly, while coali­tion part­ner Bodo Peo­ples’ Front has 12. The AGP has 14 MLAs, the Con­gress 24 and the All In­dia United Demo­cratic Front has 13 mem­bers.

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