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AGP has no moral right to oppose citizenship Bill: BJP

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Nov 25 - Launching its first major offensive against ally AGP over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the ruling BJP today said the regional party does not have the �moral right� to oppose the proposed law as its leaders had �regularised over one crore pre-1971 migrants� through the Assam Accord.

�They had brought in over one crore people (migrants). This Bill talks about just five-seven lakh people (migrants). The AGP leaders do not have the moral right to oppose it,� senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma told a press conference, setting the tone for the panchayat poll campaign which the ruling party would launch tomorrow.

Sarma claimed that the cut-off year of 1971 was proposed by the Central government before the Assam Agitation started. �In 1985, they accepted the same cut-off date after 900 people sacrificed their lives. Between 1951 and 1971, if we assume that 50 lakh migrants had come to Assam, counting their progenies, at least one crore people were given citizenship through the Assam Accord,� Sarma said, maintaining that it was during former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta�s time that the citizenship law was first amended to regularise illegal migrants.

�So, even if other parties may oppose the Bill, the AGP does not have moral right to oppose it and make noises. During the AGP rule, there were several incidents which were against national interest for which the party had to even tender a public apology. I do not want to elaborate on those now,� he added.

The BJP leader said that the AGP could have stopped the demographic changes that had been taking place in the State had it initiated the NRC update work when it was in power.

He said the JPC on citizenship Bill has representatives from all political parties and the panel as well as the Parliament will take a �healthy decision� keeping in mind the interest of the country and the people.

Sarma insisted that a recent statement by AGP�s Naharkatia MLA Naren Sonowal and field reports coming from certain places have indicated an �indirect alliance� between the AGP and Congress in the panchayat elections. �These reports have perturbed the BJP. The AGP is attacking us at various platforms. But we feel that as it is our ally, we should not retaliate. But there is a limit to everything,� Sarma said.

The senior BJP minister also claimed that some organisations have been raking up the citizenship Bill in a bid to divert the attention of the people from the NRC.

�Now when it is time for objections and claims, no one is talking about the NRC. There are reports that attempts are being made by illegal migrants to get enrolled in the NRC, but no organisation is reacting. Why?� he questioned.

Sarma also informed that the BJP has won 157 panchayat seats uncontested.

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AGP has no moral right to oppose citizenship Bill: BJP

GUWAHATI, Nov 25 - Launching its first major offensive against ally AGP over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the ruling BJP today said the regional party does not have the �moral right� to oppose the proposed law as its leaders had �regularised over one crore pre-1971 migrants� through the Assam Accord.

�They had brought in over one crore people (migrants). This Bill talks about just five-seven lakh people (migrants). The AGP leaders do not have the moral right to oppose it,� senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma told a press conference, setting the tone for the panchayat poll campaign which the ruling party would launch tomorrow.

Sarma claimed that the cut-off year of 1971 was proposed by the Central government before the Assam Agitation started. �In 1985, they accepted the same cut-off date after 900 people sacrificed their lives. Between 1951 and 1971, if we assume that 50 lakh migrants had come to Assam, counting their progenies, at least one crore people were given citizenship through the Assam Accord,� Sarma said, maintaining that it was during former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta�s time that the citizenship law was first amended to regularise illegal migrants.

�So, even if other parties may oppose the Bill, the AGP does not have moral right to oppose it and make noises. During the AGP rule, there were several incidents which were against national interest for which the party had to even tender a public apology. I do not want to elaborate on those now,� he added.

The BJP leader said that the AGP could have stopped the demographic changes that had been taking place in the State had it initiated the NRC update work when it was in power.

He said the JPC on citizenship Bill has representatives from all political parties and the panel as well as the Parliament will take a �healthy decision� keeping in mind the interest of the country and the people.

Sarma insisted that a recent statement by AGP�s Naharkatia MLA Naren Sonowal and field reports coming from certain places have indicated an �indirect alliance� between the AGP and Congress in the panchayat elections. �These reports have perturbed the BJP. The AGP is attacking us at various platforms. But we feel that as it is our ally, we should not retaliate. But there is a limit to everything,� Sarma said.

The senior BJP minister also claimed that some organisations have been raking up the citizenship Bill in a bid to divert the attention of the people from the NRC.

�Now when it is time for objections and claims, no one is talking about the NRC. There are reports that attempts are being made by illegal migrants to get enrolled in the NRC, but no organisation is reacting. Why?� he questioned.

Sarma also informed that the BJP has won 157 panchayat seats uncontested.

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