Assam: Oppn parties against CAA implementation, union minister remark sparks debate

The AASU leader said that the Modi government has exempted the inner line cover areas and Sixth Schedule areas from the purview of CAA

Guwahati: A day after union minister of state for home affairs Ajay Mishra’s statement anticipating the completion of the final draft of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) by March 30 next year, opposition parties in Assam on Tuesday threatened that they would challenge any attempt by the Central government to implement to what they said a controversial act.

In his reaction All Assam Students' Union (AASU) chief advisor Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said that they are determined to oppose the move of the central government to implement the act which is a threat to the existence of indigenous people of Assam. He asserted that they would launch the anti-CAA movement once again if it is implemented.

The AASU leader said that the Modi government has exempted the inner line cover areas and Sixth Schedule areas from the purview of CAA.

“If CAA is bad for the Sixth Schedule area, inner-line cover area, then how can it be good for Assam and the rest of the Northeast. As per the Assam Accord, we have taken the load of the people who entered Assam up to 1971,” the AASU leader argued in debate.

The reaction of opposition parties came after the union minister of state for home affairs Mr Mishra while speaking to the Matua community in West Bengal on Sunday, stated that the final draft of the CAA is anticipated to be ready in March and that the process of implementing it has gathered steam. He claimed that "nobody can snatch citizenship rights" from Matuas, who had fled religious persecution in Bangladesh.

Opposition leaders in Assam said that any attempt to enact an "unconstitutional" law that violates the terms of the 1985 Assam Accord will not be tolerated by the people of the state.

Leader of Opposition in the Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia told reporters that the Congress will oppose the CAA since it goes against the terms of the Assam Accord. “The deadline for identifying undocumented foreigners in the state is March 25, 1971, according to the Assam Accord. Any law that contradicts it would not be accepted,” he said.

The chairman of the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP) Lurinjyoti Gogoi asserted that people of the state would not tolerate an “unconstitutional" law such as the CAA.

The CAA goes "against the very essence of secularism in our country, and the people will never tolerate the imposition of such an unconstitutional law", Mr Gogoi said, adding that Assam is "not prepared to take on any more external burdens".

Congress leader Abdul Khaleque said that the Centre should put pressure on Bangladesh to safeguard its Hindu population so that they are not persecuted for their faith and are prevented from travelling to India.

"India is willing to help Bangladesh, but it is unable to put pressure on the country's administration to protect Hindus. Instead, our BJP government is attempting to bring the Hindus here on the pretext of religious persecution," he said.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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