former Minister Bijoya opposes Citizenship (Amendment) Bill

GUWAHATI : In a significant development, BJP MP Bijoya Chakravarty has opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill at a time when almost all BJP MPs and MLAs from Assam have expressed support for the controversial bill.

“Assam has taken the burden of foreigners till 1971; it can’t take any more burdens.

If Hindu Bangladeshis need to be given shelter then other states should take

this burden equally amongst them,” said Chakravarty while speaking to

media persons at an event in Guwahati.

After Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader, former spokesperson of the

Assam BJP, Mira Borthakur and BJP’s Dispur MLA Atul Bora, it is now

turn of BJP’s Guwahati Lok Sabha MP Bijoya Chakravarty to voice

against the implementation of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016.

Former Union Minister of State for Water Resources during the Atal

Bihari Vajpayee regime, Chakravarty has reportedly opposed

implementation of the Bill stating, “Assam has already taken the

burden of foreigners till 1971 and the State cannot take any more burden.”

She also reportedly said that if there is the need to give shelter to

Hindu Bangladeshis in India, then they should be settled in other

States of the country and not Assam.

Beside bijoya many opposed the said bill

During the public hearing on the Bill conducted by the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) in Guwahati on May 7, 2018, a large number of organisations and individuals came out to oppose and express their views against the Bill.

If the Bill is passed then Hindu Bangladeshis along with Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians – but not Muslims – who have entered India would be granted Indian citizens naturally after six years of their stay in the country.

The BJP, which has supported the Bill and wants implementation of the Bill seeking Indian citizenship to the Hindu Bangladeshis, has also faced wrath from most of the people from the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam.

However, while most of the organisations and political parties in the State including the Congress, opposed the Bill during JPC’s public hearing in Guwahati, the BJP, all district committees of Congress in Barak Valley besides over 300 organisations came out in support of the Bill during the two-day public hearing conducted by the JPC in Silchar on April 8 and 9, 2018.

It may be mentioned that BJP’s Dispur MLA and former Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) Minister Atul Bora has dashed off a letter to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal stating his opposition to the Bill.

In the letter to the Assam Chief Minister, Dispur MLA Bora, who was one of the prominent leaders of the Assam Movement, which was led by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), urged Sonowal to prove himself as a true leader by denouncing the Citizenship Amendment Bill 2016 as the Conrad Sangma-led Meghalaya Cabinet, which has decided to oppose the Bill.

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