BJP’s Assam Ally Threatens Pullout After Centre Bats For Hindu Refugees

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AGP has accused BJP of trying to settle Bangladeshi Hindus in Assam.


The Asom Gana Parishad has threatened to break its alliance with the BJP in Assam accusing it of trying to give citizenship to Bangladeshi Hindus. The AGP's allegation comes after the union ministry of home affairs issued a notification empowering district magistrates and state home secretaries in the seven states to grant certificate of naturalisation under Section 6 of the Citizenship Act to Hindu minorities who fled from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan due to religious persecution.

"We think this is the first step towards the BJP's aim of pushing through the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. They want to see how the people of Assam react. This will make us rethink on the alliance," AGP spokesperson and lawmaker from Kamalpur, Satyabrat Kalita, told NDTV.

The AGP has already voiced its opposition to the proposed Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 and has warned the BJP that it will pull out of the alliance if it goes forward with the bill in its present form. The AGP held a massive rally on the issue last week to coincide with the Assam Bandh called by several outfits.

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"Even if people from Bangladesh get Indian citizenship in Uttar Pradesh, they will still try to sneak into Assam since the conditions are similar (to Bangladesh).

Assam's Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told NDTV that the home ministry notification has nothing to do with the proposed citizenship amendment bill since the bill is with the joint parliamentary committee (JPC).

"I don't share this (AGP's) concern. Assam is a peaceful state. Whatever the Centre decides in the interest of the country, the people of Assam will understand and follow. There is no first step or second step. The citizenship amendment bill is with the JPC. They will send it to the parliament, which will take the final call," Mr Sarma told NDTV on Monday.

The home ministry's notification has been sent to Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – all BJP ruled states. The only non-BJP state it has been sent to is Aam Aadmi Party-ruled Delhi but even here home affairs is controlled by the centre.
The special provision will be valid for two years. The government plans to grant citizenship to about three lakh people this way.

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