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CM Sonowal threatens to quit if Assam's interest not protected

CM Sonowal threatens to quit if Assam's interest not protected

With the visit of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, evoking sharp protests in Assam, the BJP-led government said it won't go against the state's interests.

"Have faith in the state government and the chief minister as he will ensure that no harm is caused to the interests of the people", he told reporters here.

Nath said Neso will soon go to Delhi to stage protests against the bill in the national capital and has also chose to meet the Union home minister and Prime Minister to discuss the issue.

According to Laishram Peter, the Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nepal.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill overrides the provisions of Assam Accord which was signed by the Rajiv Gandhi government with the All Assam Students' Union in 1985 at the end of bloody six-year-long anti-foreigners' agitation.

"We want a correct NRC, which is being updated under the directives of the Supreme Court, to protect the identity of the Assamese people", he said. Already the relation between local Assamese and Hindus of other linguistic groups are not cordial due to their dominance over Assamese people in jobs and business If Assam has to take the burden of several lakh Hindu Bangladesh there will be more friction and social unrest in the state.

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"I appeal to all to maintain peace so that unwanted situations do not develop in the state".

"The JPC Chairman had hinted the Committee will return to Assam to further take the people's opinion on the Bill. It is not double-speak but triple-speak", the Minister said.

BJP state president Ranjeet Kumar Dass says the party will now wait till the National Register of Citizens (NRC) final list comes out on June 30 before formulating its stand on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. "It was due to his efforts that saw the IMDT (Illegal Migrants' Determination Tribunal) Act, which made detection of immigrants hard, being struck down (by the Supreme Court)", Patowary said while appealing to the people to have faith on the government. "It is heartening to note that this time, people are not falling prey to malicious agenda", she said.

The new bill breaches the clauses of Assam Accord which stated that all illegal foreigners who came to the state after 1971 from Bangladesh, irrespective of their religion, have to be deported.

BJP's state unit, interestingly, did not meet the JPC in Guwahati, even though the Barak Valley unit of the party met the visiting MPs in support of the bill during the JPC's visit to Silchar. One day before the JPC visited Shillong on May 9, the Conrad Sangma government in Meghalaya unanimously made a decision to oppose the Bill.