Congress to build anti-CAA movement memorial if voted to power in Assam

Feb 16, 2021 07:18 PM IST

The Congress said the memorial will highlight the struggle of the people who oppose the legislation.

The opposition Congress in Assam has promised to build a memorial for the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) protests that rocked the state in December 2019, if voted to power in the coming assembly polls.

Members of Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) at a protest rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), in Nagaon District of Assam. (PTI File Photo)
Members of Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) at a protest rally against the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), in Nagaon District of Assam. (PTI File Photo)

Five persons were killed in police firing in Assam during violent protests against the legislation that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to religious minorities from Muslim-majority countries Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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“In coming months, Guwahati will see a new landmark - a grand memorial in memory of the anti-CAA movement to be built by the incoming Congress government. This will be the state’s message to the ruling BJP. No CAA in Assam,” Congress state president Ripun Bora told journalists on Tuesday.

Lok Sabha MP Pradyut Bordoloi said the memorial will highlight peoples’ struggles against the law.

“After winning the election, we shall make a memorial for the anti-CAA peoples’ movement that has been going on in Assam for the last few years. It will highlight the peoples’ struggles, sacrifices, protests, songs and paintings which they expressed to oppose the legislation,” Bordoloi said in a statement.

On Sunday, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in Assam that the party will not allow the implementation of the CAA in the state at any cost if voted to power in the coming assembly polls due in April-May.

Addressing a rally in Sivasagar, he said the legislation was a BJP ploy to divide the people of Assam.

“We are wearing a ‘gamocha’ (traditional Assamese towel) today where letters CAA have been written and marked with a cross. It signifies that come what may, CAA won’t happen. Illegal immigration is an issue, but Assam’s people have the capability to resolve this problem together with talks,” Gandhi had said.

There is fear among a large section of people in Assam that if the CAA is implemented it would lead to large scale influx of people from Bangladesh.

Stressing that Congress will uphold and defend the Assam Accord (signed in 1985 after a six-year agitation against illegal immigrants from Bangladesh), Gandhi had said the BJP was trying to do away with the Accord, divide the state and implement CAA.

The anti-CAA protests were spearheaded by several groups and led to the creation of two regional parties - Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal - both of which have decided to contest the coming polls together.

The Congress has formed a ‘grand alliance’ with All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), Anchalik Gana Morcha and three Left parties. Despite Congress pleas for a joint front against BJP, both Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal have refused to join hands with the alliance.

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    Utpal is a Senior Assistant Editor based in Guwahati. He covers seven states of North-East India and heads the editorial team for the region. He was previously based in Kathmandu, Dehradun and Delhi with Hindustan Times.

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