Black flags greet As­sam CM at his con­stituency

Singer Zubeen asks BJP to re­turn votes

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - TIMES NATION -

Guwa­hati: Black flags were waved at As­sam chief min­is­ter Sar­bananda Sonowal in his con­stituency, Ma­juli, on Mon­day as ptorests against the Cit­i­zen­ship (Amend­ment) Bill con­tin­ued. He was shown black flags on Sun­day too out­side a pri­vate uni­ver­sity in Kazi­ranga when he went to par­tic­i­pate in its con­vo­ca­tion.

The pro­test­ers be­longed to Asom Jatiy­atabadi Yuva Cha­tra Par­ishad, Kr­ishak Mukti San­gram Samiti (KMSS) and sev­eral other or­gan­i­sa­tions. Po­lice took sev­eral pro­tes­tors into cus­tody and dis­persed the oth­ers.

As As­sam started Bhogali Bihu cel­e­bra­tions, which is marked by feast­ing, KMSS founder Akhil Go­goi, along with lead­ers of 70 or­gan­i­sa­tions protest­ing the bill, be­gan a fast from 2pm. They were joined by AGP leader Ke­shav Ma­hanta, who had re­cently re­signed as min­is­ter from the BJP-led state gov­ern­ment, and Pop­u­lar

Bol­ly­wood singer from As­sam, Zubeen Garg, has asked chief min­is­ter Sar­bananda Sonowal to re­turn the votes BJP “earned” af­ter it used his song ‘Aso­mor Ananda Sar­bananda’ in the run-up to the 2016 as­sem­bly elec­tion. Reg­is­ter­ing his protest against the Cit­i­zen­ship Amend­ment Bill, Zubeen said he is ready to re­turn the re­mu­ner­a­tion that he got for singing BJP’s poll song.

“Dear Sar­bananda Sonowal Da, Wrote a let­ter to you few days back. Guess you are too busy count­ing the black flags to re­spond. So, can I get the votes back that you earned us­ing my voice in 2016? I am ready to re­fund the re­mu­ner­a­tion,” Zubeen tweeted.

Me­hdi Alam Bora, who re­cently quit as BJP spokesper­son to protest against the Bill.

Ear­lier in the day, AGP an­nounced an ag­i­ta­tion against the bill. A protest rally will be taken out on Jan­uary18 and all its 14 MLAs will sit on a dharna on Jan­uary 24. In Sib­sagar dis­trict, jour­nal­ists held a dharna at Nazira, in which leader of op­po­si­tion De­babrata Saikia and sev­eral other prom­i­nent cit­i­zens also joined in. Stu­dents hit the streets to protest against the bill.

Mean­while, the bill has re-

sulted in a split in the Sri­manta Sankardeva Sangha, the largest Vaish­nav or­gan­i­sa­tion of the state, over the par­tic­i­pa­tion of PM Modi at the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s an­nual ses­sion from Fe­bru­ary 6 to 9. Its chair­man has said that Modi should not be in­vited while its gen­eral sec­re­tary has main­tained an op­po­site view. Modi had at­tended the Sangha’s ses­sion at Der­gaon last year and has been in­vited this year too, but the Prime Min­is­ter’s Of­fice is yet to con­firm his par­tic­i­pa­tion.

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