Modi cabinet clears redrafted citizenship amendment bill

Protests-Support over Citizenship Bill storms Silchar

"If the bill in its present form comes into effect, then it will nullify the Assam Accord under which anyone entering the state illegally after March 1971 should be declared a foreigner and deported,"an opposition MP said".

Reacting to the Asom Gana Parishad's departure from the alliance, BJP spokeperson Rupam Goswami said while its "doors are always open", it can not force anyone to stay in an alliance with it. "AGP had shown signs of friendship with the Congress in the panchayat elections itself, so it is not surprising", he said.

In more ally trouble for the Bharatiya Janata Party, the Asom Gana Parishad on Monday announced its exit from the BJP-led ruling coalition in Assam over the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill which the regional party is opposing tooth and nail.

The decision followed an AGP delegation's meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi, who asserted that the government will ensure its passage in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, AGP president and minister Atul Bora said. He said that his party has conveyed its decision to the BJP and that three AGP ministers, including him, will submit their resignation soon.

The BJP has 61 members while 12 MLAs of the Bodoland People's Front and a sole Independent member are backing the party.

"We are to bring to your notice that if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is passed in Parliament, the provisions of Assam Accord and the ongoing preparation of National Register of Citizens will be totally frustrated and the Assamese language, culture and demography will be changed", the letter signed by Bora said.

The North East Students' Organisation, an umbrella body of influential student outfits from the region such as All Assam Student's Union, Mizo Zirlai Pawl, the All Arunachal Pradesh Students' Union and the Naga Students' Federation, has called an 11 hour bandh on Tuesday to protest against the bill.

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"The NDA government must give a list of such people before pressing for the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament", Mahanta said. They were immediately removed from the highly secured Vijay Chowk.

Protests have erupted in recent months and on Monday in Assam, where a movement against illegal immigrants, of all religions, from Bangladesh has simmered for decades, with some residents blaming them for eating into their resources and job opportunities.

Four Rajya Sabha members of the Congress, led by APCC president Ripun Borah, also staged protest outside the main gate of Parliament against the Bill. He said that this bill is not only for Assam, or for migrants from a particular country. The AGP is against illegal immigrants regardless of religion.

BJP's veteran tribal leader Rampada Jamatia, supporting the bill, told IANS: "While considering the Citizenship Bill, the logic and sentiment of the parties of the northeastern region should be looked into". "We now regret entering into an alliance with the BJP", Bora later told reporters.

"Migrants from these communities were earlier given protection against legal action up to the year 2016".

Interestingly, while all these was happening outside the office of the Cachar Deputy Commissioner, members of North East Linguistic and Ethnic Coordination Committee (NELECC) hailed the developments and termed this to be a historic move to solve a perrinial problem faced by the people of Assam.

He also rued that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal refused to meet them when they had sought an appointment to discuss the issue with him as "probably he could not face us".

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