Assam’s leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia on Saturday asked chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to come out of the government and form an alternative government with the Congress’s help. The offer came a day after the Citizenship (Amendment) Act was brought into effect by a central notification.
Saikia said Sonowal, who once led the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), should come out of the government if he respects the sacrifices of the 860 people during the Assam Agitation. “Sonowal and those who come from AASU background or want to work in the interest of the state should come out of the government as Independent legislators. The Congress is ready to back them. Sonowal can still lead an alternative government in the state to stop CAA,” he said.
Saikia reminded Sonowal of the promises he had made in the BJP’s vision document before the 2016 Assembly polls. “He (Sonowal) had promised to implement the Assam Accord in letter and spirit if the BJP comes to power. It was mentioned in the party’s vision document also. Today, the Centre is all out to violate the Assam Accord, hence, Sonowal and others should come out of the BJP to oppose the Centre’s move. We all can make a non-BJP government,” he said.
Assam Pradesh Congress Committee general secretary Apurba Kumar Bhattacharjee told reporters that the Congress would continue to be a part of the anti-CAA movement. “Even if the Centre has brought CAA into effect, we are not going to accept it. The government has single-handedly imposed the law upon us, neglecting the sentiments of the people of Assam. We hope the Supreme Court will provide us with relief and give us justice. But protests against CAA will continue,” he said.
He blamed the ruling party and the state police for being biased. “Why have the police booked only those who opposed CAA and criticised BJP leaders on social networks? Why was the BJP’s Khumtai MLA Mrinal Saikia not arrested despite making a provocative speech at a BJP workers’ meeting in Dibrugarh? The government and the police are targeting Congress members. Around hundred Congress workers, against whom fake cases were slapped by the BJP government, are still languishing in jails,” he alleged.
Congress workers on Saturday concluded in Dhubri an 800km padyatra they had started from Sadiya on December 22, 2019.