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AGP threatens to quit Sonowal govt

By Spl. Correspondent
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NEW DELHI, Dec 22 - The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) today served an ultimatum that the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 would result in the regional party quitting the Sarbananda Sonowal Government and the NDA.

The listing of the controversial Bill in the Parliament for passage during the Winter Session of the Parliament has led to two separate delegations landing in the national capital. While the AGP delegation is here to press for withdrawal of the Bill, a BJP delegation led by former Union minister Kabindra Purkayastha is meeting Central ministers and BJP leaders to introduce an ordinance to implement the Bill.

The Bill, meanwhile, is in a limbo as the Centre is yet to appoint a chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee after Satyapal Singh was appointment as a minister in the Modi Government.

An eight-member delegation led by AGP vice president Kumar Deepak Das and comprising former Union minister Biren Baishya, general secretaries Dr Kamala Kalita, Phani Bhusan Choudhury, Ramen Kalita and Bhupen Roy among others today called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and representatives of various political parties including NDA allies.

Later, briefing newsmen, Baishya said that the tabling of the Bill is a conspiracy against the indigenous people of Assam to turn them into a minority.

The AGP leaders said that they have come to convey to the BJP central leadership that they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice of quitting the Sonowal Government if it goes ahead with the Bill.

However, State BJP president Ranjeet Dass, talking to newsmen, said that AGP president Atul Bora, who is a State minister, has not informed the State BJP leadership about the possibility of the regional party taking such a step. �We fought the last Assembly election on the basis of some common understanding and quitting at this stage would mean showing disrespect to the people�s mandate,� Dass added.

Meanwhile, ex-minister Baishya said that they met representatives of various political parties in the Parliament House on Friday. These parties included SAD, DMK, AIADMK, All India Trinamool Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Shiv Sena among others.

�All these parties, including two NDA allies, assured us of full support,� claimed Baishya.

Meanwhile, former Rajya Sabha MP Kumar Deepak Das said that even if the ruling NDA Government manages to pass the Bill, the AGP would challenge it in court. Dr Kamala Kalita said that according to provisions of the Assam Accord, the Government of India had agreed to detect and deport illegal migrants with 1971 as the cut-off date. �Today, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill proposes to give citizenship to Hindu Bengalis. Assamese culture, heritage and language will be in danger if such a step is taken,� he warned.

Meanwhile, the BJP delegation on Friday called on BJP general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal and sought an appointment with the Union Home Minister.

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AGP threatens to quit Sonowal govt

NEW DELHI, Dec 22 - The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) today served an ultimatum that the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 would result in the regional party quitting the Sarbananda Sonowal Government and the NDA.

The listing of the controversial Bill in the Parliament for passage during the Winter Session of the Parliament has led to two separate delegations landing in the national capital. While the AGP delegation is here to press for withdrawal of the Bill, a BJP delegation led by former Union minister Kabindra Purkayastha is meeting Central ministers and BJP leaders to introduce an ordinance to implement the Bill.

The Bill, meanwhile, is in a limbo as the Centre is yet to appoint a chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee after Satyapal Singh was appointment as a minister in the Modi Government.

An eight-member delegation led by AGP vice president Kumar Deepak Das and comprising former Union minister Biren Baishya, general secretaries Dr Kamala Kalita, Phani Bhusan Choudhury, Ramen Kalita and Bhupen Roy among others today called on Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and representatives of various political parties including NDA allies.

Later, briefing newsmen, Baishya said that the tabling of the Bill is a conspiracy against the indigenous people of Assam to turn them into a minority.

The AGP leaders said that they have come to convey to the BJP central leadership that they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice of quitting the Sonowal Government if it goes ahead with the Bill.

However, State BJP president Ranjeet Dass, talking to newsmen, said that AGP president Atul Bora, who is a State minister, has not informed the State BJP leadership about the possibility of the regional party taking such a step. �We fought the last Assembly election on the basis of some common understanding and quitting at this stage would mean showing disrespect to the people�s mandate,� Dass added.

Meanwhile, ex-minister Baishya said that they met representatives of various political parties in the Parliament House on Friday. These parties included SAD, DMK, AIADMK, All India Trinamool Congress, Telugu Desam Party, Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Shiv Sena among others.

�All these parties, including two NDA allies, assured us of full support,� claimed Baishya.

Meanwhile, former Rajya Sabha MP Kumar Deepak Das said that even if the ruling NDA Government manages to pass the Bill, the AGP would challenge it in court. Dr Kamala Kalita said that according to provisions of the Assam Accord, the Government of India had agreed to detect and deport illegal migrants with 1971 as the cut-off date. �Today, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill proposes to give citizenship to Hindu Bengalis. Assamese culture, heritage and language will be in danger if such a step is taken,� he warned.

Meanwhile, the BJP delegation on Friday called on BJP general secretary (organisation) Ram Lal and sought an appointment with the Union Home Minister.

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