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Assam Accord should not be changed at any cost: BJP MLA

Press Trust of India  |  Guwahati 

BJP MLA on Sunday said the March 24, 1971 deadline in the Accord for detecting and deporting illegal immigrants should be respected and not changed at any cost.

Addressing a party workers' meeting at his Sootea constituency in district, said he would not accept the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which favoured changing the deadline to December 31, 2014 for all non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, and to become Indian citizens.

When contacted, told PTI, "It was a party meeting to felicitate the winners in the panchayat election. Some people wanted to know my views on the current situation. As I was an active member of the Movement, which gave the Accord, I will not want that pact to be violated."

He also asserted that he was not in favour of any change in the Assam Accord.

"I want the deadline in the Assam Accord to be respected," Hazarika added.

Asked if he was against the bill that his party was bringing in, the (BJP) evaded a direct reply and said the Assam Accord should be respected.

Hazarika is the first MLA of the ruling party to speak publicly against the provisions of the bill after it was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8.

He was an (AGP) MLA before switching over to the BJP to contest the 2016 state Assembly polls on the saffron party's ticket.

Protests have been raging on across Assam after announced in Silchar on January 4 that the bill would be passed as soon as possible.

Moments after the bill was passed in the Lok Sabha, resigned from all posts of the party protesting against the development, while state also quit the party last week.

Two office-bearers of the saffron party's district unit also resigned in protest against the bill.

The Citizenship Amendment Bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant Indian citizenship to the Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians, who fled religious persecution in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, and entered before December 31, 2014, after six years of residence in the country, instead of the current 12 years, even if they do not possess any proper documents.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sun, January 13 2019. 21:50 IST