GUWAHATI, Oct 22 - The Assam BJP today urged all sections of people not to support tomorrow�s 12-hour bandh called by 46 organisations of the State demanding withdrawal of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
Speaking to the media after a meeting of all BJP MPs, MLAs and office-bearers of Assam, State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said, �While we always respect democratic means of protest, we do not believe in the bandh culture. Already, there have been directions from the Supreme Court against bandhs.�
Alleging that such shutdowns cause immense economic losses to the State, Dass said bandhs also impact people�s right to free movement. Now, the State is on the path of development and a vibrant environment has already been created for investment through �Advantage Assam,� he stated.
�Now all have come to know that there is also space for business in Assam. But, such bandhs will adversely affect the environment for trade and commerce,� he said.
Dass said that the matter of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is now under the consideration of the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC). �It has already held public hearings in Assam, and till now hasn�t filed its final report.
�So, there is little logic behind calling such bandhs over the bill as the final report is still awaited,� he argued.
�We urge all sections, including traders and government employees, not to support the bandh. The issue on which the bandh has been called is a matter to be discussed in Parliament. So, after the final report of the JPC is published, there will be space of discussion in Parliament over the issue. During such discussions, those organisations who have called tomorrow�s bandh can also put their views across,� Dass pointed out.
Dass made it clear that the State BJP will not support the meeting called by some Bengali organisations of the State in support of the bill in Guwahati on November 17.
�Through the media we have come to know that some Bengali organisations of Assam have called a public meeting on November 17 in Guwahati and some other organisations have opposed it. In such a contradictory situation, we have urged the government to take steps and urge all sections of people not to support the meet as the matter of the proposed legislation is under consideration of Parliament,� Dass said.
Criticising the Congress for lending its support to the bandh, Dass said, �On one hand the Congress has extended its support and on the other we have seen contradictory stands of different Congress leaders in different parts of the State. But, the BJP has only one stand on this issue.�