Apart from keeping the state on the boil, the Citizenship(Amendment) Bill, 2016 has started dividing BJP, the ruling party even after the exit of its coalition partner. Nearly a dozen of party MLAs is believed to have been preparing to stand united against the Bill if the party leadership fails to read the writings on the wall. Talking to www.assamtimes.org, a senior party leader in Delhi said only a handful of party MLAs along with the ministers are unlikely to maintain studied silence. Nearly 25 MLAs are likely to come up openly against the Bill to put the government in a fix. “The number of aggrieved BJP legislators is increasing on every passing day. These legislators, mostly, are weighing option. They would need a couple of days to strategize the curse of action once they quit the party or speak up openly against the controversial Bill,” he said.
BJP MLA Rhituparna Baruah has openly spoken up against the Bill saying that the spirit of the Assam Accord, 1985 should be retained untouched which is not possible if the Bill in question is passed in Parliament. “We did Assam agitation for 6 years from 1979 till the signing of the Accord to detect and deport the immigrants. How we should allow the immigrants to get citizenship? This Bill should not be approved,” said Baruah.
Baruah, who is known for his close association with Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal further said,” I think the sedition charge against Dr Hiren Gohain is a deliberate attempt to defame the chief minister Sonowal. This should not happen.”
Hours before him, Sootea MLA Padma Hazarika who migrated from AGP 3 years back said at a meeting that he would be with the Assam Accord, 1985 and that anything contradictory to the historic document should be brushed aside. “I was one of the agitator. I know. I am stick to the Assam Accord only. I am very plain and simple,” said Hazarika. Last week assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami also opposed the Bill and said it was a hasty decision which might be quite contrary to what the people want. The first one BJP MLA to oppose it was Atul Bora, who has been dead opposed to the idea since inception.
Party spokesman Mehdi Alam Bora and already resigned from the party before CK Das, a retired bureaucrat put in his papers as secretary.