Fissure within Assam BJP widens | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, January 18, 2019

CITIZENSHIP BILL ROW

Fissure within Assam BJP widens

Voices of dissent within the Bharatiya Janata Party in the north eastern India over the Citizenship Amendment Bill is growing by the day.

Five legislators of the party in Assam have already come out against the Bill that seeks to give Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan and in adjacent Arunachal Pradesh.

Former Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Gegong Apang on Tuesday resigned from primary membership of BJP citing his unhappiness about the party's functioning.

BJP legislators Debananda Hazarika and Atul Bora on Wednesday opposed the Bill. Hazarika said, “Religion cannot be the basis for granting citizenship to a section of foreigners. No migrant, whether he or she is a Hindu or of any other religion, should be granted citizenship.”

Bora said, “My stand on the Bill is different from my party's. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal should take a leaf out of Meghalaya's book.” 

According to Hazarika, the NRC is being updated to check “illegal immigrants” but the Citizenship Bill will not allow that to take place.

The Meghalaya cabinet headed by Chief Minister Conrad Sangma was the first north eastern state to adopt a resolution in May last year to oppose the Bill.

Earlier this week, two other BJP legislators from Assam Rituparna Baruah and Padma Hazarika had come out against the Bill.

The Speaker of Assam legislative assembly Hitendra Nath Goswami had said the Bill was passed in “haste”  in the Lok Sabha on January 8.

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