AGP accuses Sarbananda Sonowal of 'not cooperating' on Citizenship Bill

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"It is pertinent to mention herein that the Asom Gana Parishad is fully committed to the implementation of the provisions of the Assam Accord and hence we can never support the obnoxious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016", the AGP said in the letter.

While opposition Congress welcomed the AGP's decision, the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) proposed to form a united platform taking along the regional party to fight the "communal and divisive" politics of the BJP.

"The party (AGP) was born for the cause of the indigenous people and can not go against them". The AGP has no MP in the Parliament. He also said, the Centre has taken several measures to implement the Assam Accord.

There was widespread protests in the state against the bill and, for the first time, the media was also out on the street to register their protest against it, the Assam agriculture minister claimed. "It is the BJP which is responsible for AGP's quitting the alliance and they (BJP) should step down immediately", said the former chief Minister.

The proposed legislation, an election promise made by the BJP in 2014, was cleared by the Narendra Modi-led Cabinet on Monday.

BJP legislator and Health and Family Welfare Minister Alexander Laloo Hek, who visited the party office, demanded the immediate arrest of the perpetrators.

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TMC leader Saugata Roy also echoed similar views. If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is passed and Hindu immigrants are granted citizenship, it would mean Muslims are being specifically targeted through NRC. "We have reports of four injured persons", Singh said.

In Tuesday's protests in Assam, the militant North East Students' Organization (NESO) vandalised offices of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and set banners and posters on fire. "We now regret entering into an alliance with the BJP", Bora later told reporters.

He also rued that Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal refused to meet them when they had sought an appointment to discuss the issue with him as "probably he could not face us".

However, state Congress president Ripun Bora accused the AGP of carrying on with the alliance for the "sake of power" and noted that the damage to the state had already been done.

Originally introduced in 2016, the bill was sent to the JPC, which submitted its report on Monday.

The BJP has been talking about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and identifying illegal Bangladeshi immigrants through the NRC process in the same breath.

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The legislation, which still needs the approval of the upper house, seeks to grant rights to Hindus, Jains, Parsis and several other non-Muslim religious groups who migrated illegally from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"We tried our best to convince the Modi government not to pursue the Bill that goes against the constitutional provisions, besides being potentially risky for the indigenous people of Assam".

Activist Samujjal Bhattacharjee said that the people's resentment at the move was clearly evident from protests witnessed in the region.

"It's a conspiracy of the BJP against the indigenous people of Assam and the region", said Bhattacharya.

The AGP president announced the party's decision after he met the Union home minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi.

Rajnath Singh highlighted the discrimination and religious persecution faced by the minorities in these countries.

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"We did not organise any movement on Tuesday as part of the opposition to the Citizenship Bill", said Debbarma, also the IPFT's chief spokesman.

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