BJP’s ally in Assam says it will quit alliance if ‘obnoxious’ Citizenship Amendment Bill passed in Parliament


An ally of BJP, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in Assam, had written to BJP president Amit Shah on Monday stating that it would walk out of the alliance if the “obnoxious” Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, was “intended to be passed” in Parliament.

The winter session of the Parliament has started today.

In the letter, which is signed by AGP president Atul Bora and the party’s working president Keshab Mahanta, stated, “It is pertinent to mention that the AGP is fully committed to implementation of the provisions of the Assam Accord and hence we can never support the obnoxious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016…”

AGP spokesperson Manoj Saikia, was quoted by Indian Express as having said that the party had joined the alliance only on the assurance that the government will work with commitment on implementation of the Assam Accord.

The Bill amends the Citizenship Act, 1955 to make illegal migrants who are Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan, eligible for citizenship.

Under the Act, one of the requirements for citizenship by naturalisation is that the applicant must have resided in India during the last 12 months, and for 11 of the previous 14 years. The Bill relaxes this 11 year requirement to six years for persons belonging to the same six religions and three countries.

Many have protested against the amendment stating that it would threaten the existence of the indigenous people of Assam.

(With inputs from Indian Express)

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