Citizenship Amendment Act.. (IANS Photo)
Guwahati, November 28 (IANS): Opposition parties in Assam asserted on Monday that they would challenge any attempt by the Central government to implement the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).
The remarks by the Opposition came a day after Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Mishra said that the final draft of the CAA is expected to be ready by March 30 next year.
Speaking to the Matua community in West Bengal on Sunday, Mishra stated that the final draft of the CAA is anticipated to be ready in March and that the process of implementing it has gathered steam.
He claimed that “nobody can snatch citizenship rights” from Matuas, who had fled religious persecution in Bangladesh.
Opposition leaders in Assam said that any attempt to enact an “unconstitutional” law that violates the terms of the 1985 Assam Accord will not be tolerated by the people of the state.
Congress leader Abdul Khaleque said that the Centre ought to put pressure on Bangladesh to safeguard its Hindu population so that they are not persecuted for their faith and are prevented from travelling to India. “India is willing to help Bangladesh, but it is unable to put pressure on the country's administration to protect Hindus. Instead, our BJP government is attempting to bring the Hindus here under the guise of religious persecution,” he said.
The Barpeta Lok Sabha MP claimed that the BJP, which claims to support Hindu causes, is aiming to use the CAA to close Bangladesh's well-known Dhakeswari temple. “Who will be left in Bangladesh to even light a lamp in the temple if all Hindus are brought to India under the guise of communal torture?” he asked.
Leader of Opposition in the Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia said that the Congress will oppose the CAA since it goes against the terms of the Assam Accord. “The deadline for identifying undocumented foreigners in the state is March 25, 1971, according to the Assam Accord. Any law that contradicts it would not be accepted,” he said.
Lurinjyoti Gogoi, the chairman of the Assam Jatiya Parishad (AJP), claimed that the state's citizens would not tolerate an “unconstitutional” law such as the CAA.
The CAA goes “against the very essence of secularism in our country, and the people will never tolerate the imposition of such an unconstitutional law”, Gogoi said, adding that Assam is “not prepared to take on any more external burdens”.
BJP lawmaker Jitu Goswami said: “We never break our promises. Be it our guarantee on the CAA, the Ayushman Bharat programme, or the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.”