GUWAHATI, March 25 - Reacting to the Bharatiya Janata Party�s attempts to make Citizenship Amendment Bill more acceptable in the North East, Prabrajan Virodhi Manch (PVM) convener Upamanyu Hazarika today said it was a matter of shame that the indigenous leaders of Assam, who were voted to power to protect the interests of the indigenous people, were more enthusiastic about rehabilitating foreigners.
Referring to a recent statement by the BJP leader and NEDA convener Himanta Biswa Sarma, in which he spoke about making the bill more acceptable in the region by introducing safeguards, Hazarika said the zeal to enact the controversial bill by any possible means is an outright betrayal of indigenous hopes and aspirations.
The Manch, which has been fighting against illegal migration and encroachment of the government land by the illegal settlers, has decided to join the political battle by fielding Hazarika as an Independent candidate from Guwahati during the Lok Sabha elections.
Inviting attention towards one of the crucial questions inked to the Bill, he said that grant of citizenship by birth to virtually all children of illegal foreigners until December 3, 2004, will have serious implication for Assam, which is hardly being talked about.
�The UPA government in 2004 came up with figures of 50 lakh infiltrators in Assam, the NDA in 2016 gave figures of 80 lakh and with such a large number of foreigners, children born of them are enough to turn the indigenous into a minority.�Needless to say, they will jeopardise the future of the new generation of indigenous children � in terms of seats in higher educational institutions, jobs or any form of livelihood,� Hazarika added. �
�It is unfortunate that today when all political parties in Assam have indigenous leaders at their helm and occupy such position by virtue of their being representatives of the indigenous people, they only serve the interests of foreigners and are concerned about vote-bank politics,� he further stated.
The grant of citizenship by birth to children of foreigners has been challenged by Matiur Rahman in a petition before the Supreme Court, where the Central government on July 20, 2015, filed an affidavit opposing the petition and favouring grant of citizenship by birth to children of foreigners.