Amid Citizenship Act protests, Assam CM says will protect ‘genuine citizens’
The tweet also came amid reports that the BJP-led Assam government’s coalition partner, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has decided to approach the Supreme Court against the contentious Act.Updated: Dec 15, 2019 13:34 IST
Amid a tenuous peace, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal said Sunday that his government was committed to protect the rights of the people of the state after violent protests against the amended Citizenship Act roiled the state earlier this week.
“We are committed to protect all genuine citizens and the rights of people of Assam. I call upon all sections of the society to thwart the elements who are misleading the people of Assam on the Citizenship Act and indulging in violence and together continue the growth journey of Assam,” he tweeted in an appeal for peace on a day when students’ organisations AASU and AJYCP took out rallies across the state, seeking revocation of the law which facilitates the grant of Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who entered India on or before December 31, 2014.
The tweet also came amid reports that the BJP-led Assam government’s coalition partner, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has decided to approach the Supreme Court against the contentious Act.
We are committed to protect all genuine Indian citizens and the rights of the people of Assam.— Sarbananda Sonowal (@sarbanandsonwal) December 15, 2019
I call upon all sections of the society to thwart the elements who are misleading the people on #CAA & indulging in violence and together continue the growth journey of Assam. pic.twitter.com/RTGeWO2QCI
More than a dozen petitions have been moved in the Supreme Court so far challenging the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019. The petitioners are Congress MP Jairam Ramesh, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, Hyderabad MP and AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi, among others.
No senior AGP leader could be contacted for comments and most had switched off their phones. The AGP’s support to the Citizenship Bill in Parliament fuelled dissent in the ruling alliance and led to many party functionaries resigning from their posts saying that the state leadership had failed to gauge the mood of the people against the new law.
On Sunday, members of the Guwahati unit of the AGP held demonstrations outside party headquarters in Ambari area demanding resignation of three ministers, including party president Atul Bora.
AGP ministers had resigned from the government in January when the NDA government tabled the original version of the CAB in the Lok Sabha. The bill had lapsed with government failing to table it in the Rajya Sabha. Two months later, the party patched up with the BJP and sealed a pre-poll alliance to contest the Lok Sabha elections.
The AGP has faced severe backlash from protesters in Assam from Wednesday onwards when the Rajya Sabha passed the CAB. On Thursday, the party’s headquarters in Guwahati was attacked by people protesting against the Act.