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BJP firm on implementing Clause 6: Madhav

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 17 - BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav today said that the ruling party will fulfil its obligations to both the persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries as well as to the indigenous people of Assam and the North East.

Addressing the media here, Madhav said that people of the North East have no reason to be apprehensive regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and added that a lot of misinformation regarding the proposed legislation has been spread by certain elements.

He added that there is a �conspiracy to incite violence� in the North East on the issue of the Bill.

�We have an obligation to the persecuted minorities (of the neighbouring countries) and we have also an obligation to the people of Assam and the North East. Both will be fulfilled,� Madhav said.

He said that some people have �genuine concerns� regarding the Bill.

�However, there are some others who are only opposing the Bill for political expediency or for some political gains,� Madhav said, adding that ULFA(I) is using the proposed legislation as an excuse to step up violence.

�There is concern in Assam regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. I want to assure you that all steps will be taken to safeguard the rights and interests of the people of Assam,� Madhav said.

He added that there is lot of misinformation regarding the Bill.

He said that the BJP is committed to the protection of the culture, heritage and language of the indigenous people of Assam and the North East and their legislative and administrative rights. Madhav added that the Centre has constituted the high powered committee for full implementation of the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord for that very purpose.

�Clause 6 is the soul of the Assam Accord. That is why the committee will also be empowered to decide upon legislative and administrative safeguards for the indigenous people. It is unfortunate that due to the misinformation campaign some people nominated to the committee have backed out. We urge them to reconsider their decision. Our commitment to the people of Assam is unshakeable. We request all to help us in fulfilling the task set for the committee. The Centre will take steps to see that the work of the committee is finished within the mandated six months. We are committed to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord in its letter and spirit,� said the senior BJP leader.

He also called upon AASU to reconsider its decision not to nominate a representative to the high powered committee.

Asked about the opposition expressed by some ruling party MLAs in Assam on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Madhav said, �As I said there are many people who have expressed genuine concerns regarding the Bill, including some of our legislators. We will allay their concerns. Today we are going to hold a meeting with our party MLAs on the issue.�

He said that BJP is also talking with its allies in the North East on the matter of the controversial legislation.

�We are talking with our allies. We want to assure them that their concerns will be addressed,� Madhav said.

Asked if AGP, which snapped its ties with the BJP recently on the issue of the Bill, is also in the list of parties with which the saffron party is holding talks, Madhav said, �As far as the AGP is concerned, we want them to reconsider their decision to leave the alliance. We got the mandate in Assam as part of a pre-poll alliance and so we should continue together to serve the people of the State.�

It is noteworthy that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has not yet forwarded the resignation of the three AGP ministers, who quit office last week, to the Governor.

When pointed out that the Bill, if implemented, will violate Clause 5 of the Assam Accord which deals with the cut-off date for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants, Madhav refrained from giving a direct reply and only said, �Those who have to be deported will be deported. Those who should be provided protection will be provided protection.�

The BJP leader added that granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the six communities will not affect the benefits being enjoyed now by the existing STs.

�We had given a commitment to grant ST status to the six communities. So we have placed Bill in this regard in Parliament. It is unfortunate that a misinformation campaign is being launched even on this matter. In Assam now you have the ST (Hills) and the ST (Plains). Now reservation will be provided to the six communities under some other nomenclature and without affecting the benefits enjoyed by the existing ST communities. Even Chief Minister Sonowal has assured that benefits of the existing ST communities will not be curtailed,� Madhav said.

He said that only the State government is empowered to set the quantum of quota once the law is passed by Parliament.

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BJP firm on implementing Clause 6: Madhav

GUWAHATI, Jan 17 - BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav today said that the ruling party will fulfil its obligations to both the persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries as well as to the indigenous people of Assam and the North East.

Addressing the media here, Madhav said that people of the North East have no reason to be apprehensive regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and added that a lot of misinformation regarding the proposed legislation has been spread by certain elements.

He added that there is a �conspiracy to incite violence� in the North East on the issue of the Bill.

�We have an obligation to the persecuted minorities (of the neighbouring countries) and we have also an obligation to the people of Assam and the North East. Both will be fulfilled,� Madhav said.

He said that some people have �genuine concerns� regarding the Bill.

�However, there are some others who are only opposing the Bill for political expediency or for some political gains,� Madhav said, adding that ULFA(I) is using the proposed legislation as an excuse to step up violence.

�There is concern in Assam regarding the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. I want to assure you that all steps will be taken to safeguard the rights and interests of the people of Assam,� Madhav said.

He added that there is lot of misinformation regarding the Bill.

He said that the BJP is committed to the protection of the culture, heritage and language of the indigenous people of Assam and the North East and their legislative and administrative rights. Madhav added that the Centre has constituted the high powered committee for full implementation of the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord for that very purpose.

�Clause 6 is the soul of the Assam Accord. That is why the committee will also be empowered to decide upon legislative and administrative safeguards for the indigenous people. It is unfortunate that due to the misinformation campaign some people nominated to the committee have backed out. We urge them to reconsider their decision. Our commitment to the people of Assam is unshakeable. We request all to help us in fulfilling the task set for the committee. The Centre will take steps to see that the work of the committee is finished within the mandated six months. We are committed to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord in its letter and spirit,� said the senior BJP leader.

He also called upon AASU to reconsider its decision not to nominate a representative to the high powered committee.

Asked about the opposition expressed by some ruling party MLAs in Assam on the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Madhav said, �As I said there are many people who have expressed genuine concerns regarding the Bill, including some of our legislators. We will allay their concerns. Today we are going to hold a meeting with our party MLAs on the issue.�

He said that BJP is also talking with its allies in the North East on the matter of the controversial legislation.

�We are talking with our allies. We want to assure them that their concerns will be addressed,� Madhav said.

Asked if AGP, which snapped its ties with the BJP recently on the issue of the Bill, is also in the list of parties with which the saffron party is holding talks, Madhav said, �As far as the AGP is concerned, we want them to reconsider their decision to leave the alliance. We got the mandate in Assam as part of a pre-poll alliance and so we should continue together to serve the people of the State.�

It is noteworthy that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has not yet forwarded the resignation of the three AGP ministers, who quit office last week, to the Governor.

When pointed out that the Bill, if implemented, will violate Clause 5 of the Assam Accord which deals with the cut-off date for detection and deportation of illegal immigrants, Madhav refrained from giving a direct reply and only said, �Those who have to be deported will be deported. Those who should be provided protection will be provided protection.�

The BJP leader added that granting Scheduled Tribe (ST) status to the six communities will not affect the benefits being enjoyed now by the existing STs.

�We had given a commitment to grant ST status to the six communities. So we have placed Bill in this regard in Parliament. It is unfortunate that a misinformation campaign is being launched even on this matter. In Assam now you have the ST (Hills) and the ST (Plains). Now reservation will be provided to the six communities under some other nomenclature and without affecting the benefits enjoyed by the existing ST communities. Even Chief Minister Sonowal has assured that benefits of the existing ST communities will not be curtailed,� Madhav said.

He said that only the State government is empowered to set the quantum of quota once the law is passed by Parliament.

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