GUWAHATI, April 17 - The Left-Democratic Mancha, Assam, in its memorandum to the chairman of the Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, has stated that the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act would go against the basic spirit of the Indian Constitution.
It has also pleaded for the immediate visit of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) to Assam and hear the views of all the parties, organisations and citizens� committees here on the proposed amendments to the legislation. The committee must take the people of Assam into confidence before arriving at any conclusion on the issue, it asserted.
�Since the Republic of India is a secular state and hence granting of citizenship to infiltrators on communal lines is against the basic spirit of our Constitution,� said the Mancha, a joint platform of 11 Left and democratic parties that include the Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), Nationalist Congress Party, Samajwadi Party, Janata Dal(S), Asom Sangrami Mancha, Aam Aadmi Party, Liberal Democratic Party, Revolutionary Communist Party of India (RCPI) and the All India Forward Block (AIFB) in its memorandum to the JPC chairman.
The Mancha opposes the proposed amendment to the Citizenship Act lock, stock and barrel, it said. It further said that the proposed amendments seek to nullify the provisions of the Assam Accord for detection and deportation of the illegal migrants which stipulated March 24, 1971 as the cut-off date for the purpose.
It argued that the Assam Accord was the result of a national consensus and all political parties and organisations of the country had accepted this cut-off date for detection of illegal migrants. Subsequently, Section 6(A) was inserted into the Citizenship Act, 1955. Section 6A in the Act contains special provisions with respect to citizenship of persons covered by the Assam Accord (1985), that is, the migrants from �specified territory� (present-day Bangladesh).
Assam had to take the major burden of the continuing influx from across the border since the days of partition. Now, if the migration continues, the demographic composition of Assam will certainly be changed and its socio-economic, cultural and political scenario will be adversely affected. The constituent parties of the Mancha have reasons to believe that the unity and integrity of a multi-lingual, multi-ethnic, multi-religious and multi-national state like Assam will completely be disrupted and jeopardised if influx from across the border continues.
What is most disturbing is the fact that the JPC is yet to visit Assam to hear the views of various political parties and organisations of the State on the most crucial issues concerning Assam in particular. However, the JPC has preferred to visit various parts of the country, barring Assam, and reportedly heard the views of several organisations on the issue.
What is highly objectionable is the fact that, even for hearings in Delhi, only a few parties and organisations were invited to hear their views. This is quite selective, discriminatory and it goes against the democratic norms and procedures, said the Mancha.