NEW DELHI, Aug 6 - Led by former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, the Asom Andolan Sangrami Mancha today staged a �March to Parliament�, demanding immediate withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
A delegation of the Mancha, an offshoot of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) comprising Biraj Kumar Sarma, Utpal Dutta, Kumar Deepak Das and Manjit Mahanta participated in the demonstration.
Mahanta said the attempt of the Central government to extend the Bill beyond the cut-off date of March 24, 1971 through the proposed amendment has been vehemently opposed by the people of Assam. Apart from further complicating the already vulnerable demographic cauldron of Assam, the circumstances under which the amendment is sought to be carried out raise questions about the federal structure of the country, he said.
Whatever humanitarian consideration prompted the proposed amendment, granting citizenship to people belonging to minority communities from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan on the basis of religious persecution would also be a mockery of the Constitution of India, which asserts that the country as secular, Mahanta said.
In the context of Assam that has been continually facing ethnic demographic convulsions, it would render meaningless the Assam Accord of 1985, and the subsequent amendment of the Citizenship Act in 1986, in which, Article 6A was inserted, he said.