Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019 is to address some of the unresolved issues of the Assam Accord and not to dilute its spirit. He said this while addressing the special session of the Assam Legislative Assembly held on Monday to discuss the ongoing situation over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act and other issues.
Addressing the Assembly, he said that the recent citizenship act was effected to address some of the unresolved issues of the Assam Accord like it was done in 1983, 1997 and in 2003 and not to dilute the spirit of the Accord.
Sarma, while quoting the Assam Accord said, “According to the Accord, the cut-off date for detection and deportation of illegal foreigners in Assam is 1967 and not 1971. The Accord was only a four-page document. There were not many issues written in the Accord but the issues were evolved gradually.”
He further added that the cut-off date of 1971 was just a provision for those who came after 1967 and declare that before the foreign officer that they were from Bangladesh.
Sarma said that it is in this regard that the Accord added a provision that their cases would be considered till 1971 with a condition that their names would be kept out of the electoral roll for 10 years after which they will be restored adding that it was a violation of the Accord.
The minister also appealed to the legislators to help the government by dispelling the fear of the people’s minds.
He said, “I am quite sure that we won’t have to wait long. The rules are being framed for CAA 2019 and once the rules are framed, we can adopt a resolution in the Assembly to make the Act more stringent” adding that through the resolution it can be ensured that the beneficiaries produce a document that they came to India before December 2014, he said.
“We can also make a resolution that the date of December 2014 can never be extended further,” he added.
The minister further reiterated that the CAA would not allow more than a mere 5 lakh people to apply for citizenship and added that he is ready to quit politics if it is more than 5 lakh people, who are benefitted out of CAA 2019.