BJP top guns to attend peace rally in Assam
The ruling BJP will take out a peace rally at Nalbari in Assam on Friday amid protests over the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, across the state.
The 3km rally will be held in Nalbari town and attended by chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, senior cabinet minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, BJP state president Ranjeet Kumar Das and others, a BJP source said.
Apart from Nalbari — where BJP legislator Prashanta Phukan said the party was expecting a 40,000-strong crowd — similar rallies will be held in four other places in the state. The rally sites are yet to be disclosed.
Phukan and BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami said the decision was taken at a party meeting here.
“We expect a huge gathering. Our party leaders in Guwahati will attend the rally for peace and development which has come to a standstill,” Phukan said.
Security has been beefed up in Nalbari town from Thursday to ensure safety of the BJP rallyists. Nalbari town is a stronghold of the BJP and a site of RSS activities.
Reacting to the peace rally, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharjya, said: “Assam was peaceful for some time. Who made Assam unstable? Who is responsible for the situation? Lakhs of people in Assam have come out spontaneously to protest peacefully against the divisive policy of the government and the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. Does the government really care why they are protesting? The government has made the state restless. I wonder who will attend the rally,” Bhattacharjya told reporters here.
Ever since the protests started, the state government tried its carrot-and- stick policy.
First it tried the policy of “dominance”, imposing curfew and gunning down protesters and suspending mobile Internet service. When these failed, the government came out with sops.
The first announcement was that of recruitment to 55,000 grade III and IV posts in state government departments. It was followed by Rs 50,000 one-time aid to artistes across the state.
The artistes have been one of the vociferous protesters across the state. They staged protests, demanding scrapping of the Act even on Thursday.
The worst sufferers of the Internet data suspension are the app-based cab operators and drivers who have not been able to earn a penny over the past week.
The drivers also took out a rally here on Tuesday.
Thousands have courted arrest staging satyagraha in different parts of Assam from Monday to Wednesday.