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BJP trying to divert people�s attention from growing anti-CAA protests: Gogoi

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Jan 20 - Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today accused the ruling BJP of attempts to mislead the people regarding the cut-off date for detection and deportation of foreigners under the Assam Accord.

He said BJP leaders are trying to create confusion among the masses with a view to countering the growing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, (CAA).

Addressing a press conference here, Gogoi alleged that the BJP is also trying to make the Assam Accord �irrelevant�. He said that recent comments made by Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma regarding the cut-off date under the Assam Accord are an �attempt to create confusion in the minds of the people�.

The former Chief Minister claimed that Sarma, when he was in the Congress party, had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court suggesting that the NRC update process be on the basis of cut-off date of March 25, 1971.

�He (Sarma) was also a member of the sub-committee on NRC... He was also the Minister for Assam Accord Implementation (at that time). Now he has made a U-turn,� Gogoi alleged.

He added that cases against suspected infiltrators in the foreigners tribunals (FTs) are lodged taking March 25, 1971, as the cut-off. �They (BJP) are attempting to make the Assam Accord irrelevant so that they can bring more Bangladeshis here... What will be the relevance of Clause 6 if the Assam Accord gets nullified? Even if we assume that 1966 is the cut-off date, then also the question arises as to on what basis they have made 2014 the cut-off (for the CAA),� said Gogoi.

He said that during his 15-year tenure as Chief Minister not even a single person claimed sanctuary in Assam citing religious persecution in Bangladesh. �There are no such persons... That is why now there is no mention of religious persecution in the CAA,� said Gogoi.

He accused the BJP of using the CAA to create divisions in society and to divert attention of the masses from issues like economic slowdown, agrarian distress, price rise and growing unemployment.

He added, �They (BJP and RSS) want to turn India into a Hindu Rashtra. We oppose this attempt.� Gogoi reiterated that the time has come for all the anti-CAA forces, including Congress, AASU, KMSS and Left, to unite against the BJP.

When pointed out that AASU has already rejected the support of the Congress in case the student outfit floats a new party, Gogoi said, �Let it be so. I welcome it. If they (a new party formed by AASU) can win the next elections, that will be good. But I do not think they can achieve that on their own. Not everybody participating in rallies held by AASU are its supporters. People are basically anti-CAA.�

Asked about BJP�s claim that it will win 100 seats in the 2021 Assembly elections, Gogoi said, �If you (BJP) are really confident of winning 100 seats, then why are you so worried about the Muslims? Why do you want to bring more Hindus (to Assam) in that case?�

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BJP trying to divert people�s attention from growing anti-CAA protests: Gogoi

GUWAHATI, Jan 20 - Former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today accused the ruling BJP of attempts to mislead the people regarding the cut-off date for detection and deportation of foreigners under the Assam Accord.

He said BJP leaders are trying to create confusion among the masses with a view to countering the growing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, (CAA).

Addressing a press conference here, Gogoi alleged that the BJP is also trying to make the Assam Accord �irrelevant�. He said that recent comments made by Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma regarding the cut-off date under the Assam Accord are an �attempt to create confusion in the minds of the people�.

The former Chief Minister claimed that Sarma, when he was in the Congress party, had filed an affidavit in the Supreme Court suggesting that the NRC update process be on the basis of cut-off date of March 25, 1971.

�He (Sarma) was also a member of the sub-committee on NRC... He was also the Minister for Assam Accord Implementation (at that time). Now he has made a U-turn,� Gogoi alleged.

He added that cases against suspected infiltrators in the foreigners tribunals (FTs) are lodged taking March 25, 1971, as the cut-off. �They (BJP) are attempting to make the Assam Accord irrelevant so that they can bring more Bangladeshis here... What will be the relevance of Clause 6 if the Assam Accord gets nullified? Even if we assume that 1966 is the cut-off date, then also the question arises as to on what basis they have made 2014 the cut-off (for the CAA),� said Gogoi.

He said that during his 15-year tenure as Chief Minister not even a single person claimed sanctuary in Assam citing religious persecution in Bangladesh. �There are no such persons... That is why now there is no mention of religious persecution in the CAA,� said Gogoi.

He accused the BJP of using the CAA to create divisions in society and to divert attention of the masses from issues like economic slowdown, agrarian distress, price rise and growing unemployment.

He added, �They (BJP and RSS) want to turn India into a Hindu Rashtra. We oppose this attempt.� Gogoi reiterated that the time has come for all the anti-CAA forces, including Congress, AASU, KMSS and Left, to unite against the BJP.

When pointed out that AASU has already rejected the support of the Congress in case the student outfit floats a new party, Gogoi said, �Let it be so. I welcome it. If they (a new party formed by AASU) can win the next elections, that will be good. But I do not think they can achieve that on their own. Not everybody participating in rallies held by AASU are its supporters. People are basically anti-CAA.�

Asked about BJP�s claim that it will win 100 seats in the 2021 Assembly elections, Gogoi said, �If you (BJP) are really confident of winning 100 seats, then why are you so worried about the Muslims? Why do you want to bring more Hindus (to Assam) in that case?�

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