• Wednesday, Jun 19, 2019
  • Last Update : 07:02 pm

Fomer Assam CM slams Indian citizenship bill

  • Published at 12:12 am August 10th, 2018
Prafulla Kumar Mahanta-Assam
Prafulla Kumar Mahanta Twitter

Mahanta warns the bill will do irreversible damage to Assamese ethnicity because of BJP’s Hindu nationalist view.

India’s controversial Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016, could upset the equation of regional politics in Assam with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), said Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, former chief minister of the northeastern state,  on Wednesday.

Mahanta warns the bill will do irreversible damage to Assamese ethnicity because of BJP’s Hindu nationalist view.

“The BJP government is now trying to amend the decades old citizenship act, seeking to grant citizenship to Hindu migrants from Bangladesh, hoping that these new Indians would dedicate their votes to the saffron party. The people of Assam will never allow Hindu Bangladeshis to live in the state,” he said.

Amid the ongoing row over Assam’s National Register of Citizens (NRC), Mahanta also urged the government to prepare a similar list for residents of West Bengal to identify genuine Indians, saying the state was also “affected by illegal immigration from Bangladesh.”

He also urged the ongoing update of the NRC in Assam should be foolproof, no Indians should be left out, and no illegal immigrants included in the final list of Assam’s residents.

“We want an updated NRC in all Indian states. First of all, we want it in West Bengal which is also affected by illegal immigrants from Bangladesh as the language and culture of Bengal and Bangladesh are uniform,” Mahanta said.

The former chief minister is also a top AsomGana Parishad (AGP) leader, which is an ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in Assam.

“An updated NRC is urgently necessary in Bengal. The central government should appoint an efficient nodal officer in Bengal to start the NRC exercise in the state,” Mahanta added while talking to reporters in Delhi.

Prafulla Kumar Mahanta led the six year long anti-foreigner agitation in Assam by shouting out the slogan, “Detect, Delete, and Deport.” He was then president of the All Assam Students Union (AASU), AsomGana Parishad’s student wing. The agitation affected the signing of the Assam Accord in 1985, which provides for detecting and deporting illegal immigrants from Assam. This accord resulted in the updating of the NRC list.