Citizenship bill won't have adverse effect on Assam, Clause 6 of Assam Accord will bring 'political stability': Himanta Sarma
With Assam on the boil over the citizenship bill, state minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Thursday sought to allay people's fears saying the proposed law won't have an adverse impact and asserted that implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord will usher in new hope of "political stability".
Protests have erupted across Assam and other north-eastern states including Tripura after the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was passed by Rajya Sabha on Wednesday.
Thousands of people from all walks of life defied curfew and came out on the streets in Assam to protest against the bill. At least two persons died due to bullet injuries after police opened fire on protesters.
Sarma, BJP's key strategist for the northeast, said there is some resentment in Assam against the bill, but expressed confidence that there will be no "long-term political fallout" due to the proposed legislation, which he described as a "historic one".
Incidents of stone pelting on the residences of Chief Minister and Union Ministers have also been reported.
"This bill will help various refugees who came because of religious persecution from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh will get citizenship. Of course there is some resentment in Assam but I am sure that this bill will not have an adverse effect," Sarma told PTI.
He further said Home Minister Amit Shah has promised the implementation of
Clause 6 of the Assam Accord will pave way for new hope of political stability in the state.
"...implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord which promised by Home Minister Amit Shah will create a new hope of political stability in Assam. So I believe that there will be no long term political fallout," he said.
The Assam accord is a memorandum of settlement signed in 1985 by the representatives of the All Assam Students Union (AASU), the Assam government and the Centre.
The accord was the culmination of the six-year long Assam Movement, an agitation led by AASU demanding identification and deportation of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants.
As per the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, the "constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people."
Sarma, who was present in Parliament on Wednesday when the bill was passed by Rajya Sabha, claimed that all regional parties of the Northeast supported the legislation, even those which are official with Congress-led UPA.
"Important to note that in voting in Rajya Sabha on Tuesday all the regional political parties of Northeast voted in favour of the bill. There was speculation that parties belonging to NDA from Northeast may not vote in favour. But in the end, parties not only belonging to NDA even the party which is officially with UPA like NPF also voted in the bill's favour," he claimed.
Sarma, who is also the convener of the BJP-led North-East Democratic Alliance (NEDA), said this bill will help the party in times to come.
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