Debabrata Saikia

Guwahati, January 29, 2019:

The leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia on Monday urged all the opposition (non-Congress and non- BJP) members of the Rajya Sabha to oppose the passing of controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 through a letter.

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In the letter, Saikia wrote to the parliamentarians, “As you are aware, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 (CAB) has generated great resentment in the North-East region in general. Since the CAB seeks to legitimize the presence of those who entered India illegally from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan up to 31st December 2014, dormant fears of loss of land, language, political authority, and indigenous identity have resurfaced in Assam and the North-east as a whole. The fate of the indigenous people and languages/dialects (including Kokborok) of Tripura due to illegal migration of Bengali-speaking Hindus from East Pakistan/Bangladesh has not gone unnoticed in the other parts of the North-East In the context of Assam, the CAB clearly seeks to render obsolete the cut-off date of 24th March, 1971 stipulated in the Assam Accord of 1985 regarding the detection and deportation of illegal migrants.”

Through the letter he addressed how the massive illegal influx of both Muslim and Hindu migrants from Bangladesh has created a situation of havoc among the people of. Assam.

He mentioned that in its 2016 ‘Vision Document’ before the Assembly elections in Assam, the BJP had promised to “implement the Assam Accord in letter and spirit”. While the CAB was passed by the Lok Sabha, a united Opposition prevented passage of the Bill in the Rajya Sabha during the recently-concluded session of Parliament.

“The danger is not yet over as the NDA government looks set to try and get the Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha in the next session, which will be the last sitting before the General Elections. In my humble opinion, in this hour of crisis, we must take the cue from the Chief Ministers of Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Manipur, who have opposed the CAB in the interest of their respective states. Since the future of the indigenous people of the North-East is at stake, we must rise above party politics and take a united stand against the CAB. I would, therefore, personally like to earnestly request you to join hands with Hon’ble Members of the Rajya Sabha who are opposed to the CAB, and prevent the Bill from becoming an Act during the next session of the House of Elders,” he added.

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