Citizenship Bill Politically Neutral, Won’t Impact BJP’s Prospects
Once the bill becomes operational, indigenous people will get back at least 17 assembly seats in Assam which are presently out of the domain of indigenous people. Assam will have to bear the burden of roughly eight lakh people, three lakh in Barak valley and five lakh in Brahmaputra valley. We will ask the government to come out with a scheme wherein these five lakh people are incentivised to settle in other parts of the country. The Union home ministry constituted a committee for implementation of clause 6 of the
Assam Accord and this will ensure that tribal communities and indigenous people have reservation right from panchayat level to assembly. The committee will also suggest measures to be taken to protect Assamese and other indigenous languages of Assam.
The committee will recommend the appropriate level of reservation in employment under the government of Assam for the Assamese people.
We have even discussed covering the recommendation of the committee under Article 371. With this, Assam will become an impregnable fortress of indigenous people. I am hopeful people across the state will support these initiatives. Citizenship bill and clause 6 are complementary in
nature. Do you think the BJP stands to lose politically in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls due to this legislation? The bill is politically neutral. However, in elections we are ready to face the consequences. The Congress party’s opposition to the bill is only on the grounds of Hindu immigrants. Even if we take a hit in two to three seats, we ready for it in the greater interest of the country. We have decided we will not compromise on this, and are firmly behind it. Despite vigorous campaign against the BJP, we won the recently held panchayat polls. We won in local polls in Karbi Anglong and we will win in council polls in North Cachar hills. People have accepted our policies.
Six out of the nine members invited to the panel on clause 6 of Assam Accord have pulled out…
We have appealed to the members to take part in the committee. I am again asking the members to reconsider their decision and join the panel and give their recommendation. We may go for fresh members since we are committed to give recommenda
tions within six months.
Will the bill be placed in the Rajya Sabha?
The bill has been passed by the Lok Sabha. I am confident that the bill will be passed in the Upper House.