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Bomb hurled at BJP office in Meghalaya, protests against Bill

Bomb hurled at BJP office in Meghalaya, protests against Bill”

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has withdrawn its support to ruling BJP in Assam over the Citizenship Amendment Bill.

The powerful North East Students Organisation (NESO), an umbrella body of eight students and youth organisations of the seven northeastern states, has called an 11-hour shutdown in the entire northeast on Tuesday to protest against the BJP-led NDA government's move to pass the controversial Bill.

"We had pointed out to Sonowal that people had accorded him the title of "Jatiya Nayak" (leader of the community) after the Supreme Court scrapped the Illegal Migrants' Determination by Tribunal (IMDT) Act following his petition and it was his duty to respect people's sentiments on the issue", he said.

"We tried our best to convince the Modi government not to pursue the Bill that goes against the constitutional provisions, besides being potentially risky for the indigenous people of Assam".

Mr. Bora said he would quit as Agriculture Minister on Wednesday along with Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta and Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Phani Bhushan Choudhury.

He hailed the regional party's decision to come out of the alliance and said it was for the sake of the people of Assam.

In their dissent note, Congress Rajya Sabha members Bhubaneswar Kalita and Pradip Bhattacharya said on certain grounds, the bill may create ethnic divisions in Assam and the Northeast.

Accusing the BJP of adopting an anti-Assam policy, Mahanta said, "Let the BJP form a new government alone".

The AGP with 14 seats in the assembly had entered into an alliance with the BJP before the 2014 polls and was opposed to the Citizenship Amendment Bill since the beginning.

The BJP has 61 members and the party has support from 12 MLAs of the Bodoland People's Front and the sole Independent member. The indigenous people have been opposing the bill as they feel that granting citizenship status to immigrants will erode their limited opportunities in terms of employment and other social benefits. "Numerous constituents of the NEDA including Mizoram's ruling party Mizo National Front (MNF) are also opposing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill", Debbarma said.

Earlier in November previous year, several protests were witnessed across the state of Assam against the bill.

"We now regret entering into an alliance with the BJP".

Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga on Monday had alleged that the Bill was against the principle of secularism and if passed, would be "harmful" to states such as Mizoram where there are many illegal Buddhist migrants from Bangladesh.

In his dissent note, CPI-M member Mohammad Salim said the Indian citizenship flows from the Constitution that grants it as a fundamental right and the right can not be religion specific or country of origin specific. Several indigenous organisations in Assam have opposed the Bill as they believe it would harm their cultural identity.

Demonstrators in the state are angry about the bill not because it excludes Muslims but because it grants citizenship to settlers from elsewhere, accusing the migrants of taking away jobs from indigenous groups.

"It was not only the Muslim League that wanted to have Assam in that plan, but the same demand was also raised from inside the state at that point of time", said Sarma. TMC will be protesting against the JPC which ignored all amendments suggested by opposition parties and submitted a report without holding any meetings in the last few months except three over the last two weeks.



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