As the Centre is gearing up to introduce a fresh version of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB in the winter session of parliament, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on Friday once again voiced against the contentious Bill.
Speaking to Pratidin Time, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharya said, “We can’t let BJP do whatever they want just because they have the numbers in the Parliament. If the bill becomes an act, the definition of immigrants will be changed and it will directly affect the demography of Assam as well as Northeast.”
Attacking Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal over the issue, Bhattacharya said, “CM Sarbananda Sonowal does not have the courage to speak for the people of Assam in front of his National leader. If CMs of Meghalaya and Mizoram are directly opposing the bill, why can’t CM Sonowal stand with the people of the State?”
He further informed that the AASU will launch protest rallies across the State and they will also discuss the issue with different political parties on the national level. “AASU cannot let Assam become another Kashmir or Tripura,” the AASU adviser reiterated.
It may be mentioned here that the CAB was passed by the previous Lok Sabha in January but not taken up in the Rajya Sabha following protests in Assam as well as other parts of the northeast.
The bill seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, and grant citizenship to Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian immigrants from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan who have illegally migrated into India. The immigrants must have resided in India in the last one year and for at least six years in total to qualify for citizenship.