Monday, 30th October 2017

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Clamour for Sonowal to clarify stand

The bandh, that crippled the Brahmaputra Valley, had shown how deeply it had been affected by the bid to pass the bill

By A Staff Reporter in Guwahati
  • Published 26.10.18, 12:46 AM
  • Updated 26.10.18, 12:46 AM
  • 2 mins read
A delegation of the organisations meet Assam chief minister’s press adviser Hrishikesh Goswami on Thursday. File picture

The 46 organisations, which called a 12-hour Assam bandh on Tuesday to protest against the Centre’s move to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in the winter session of Parliament, on Thursday demanded that chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal meet them within October 31 to clarify his stand.

The representatives of the organisations met the press adviser to the chief minister, Hrishikesh Goswami, here and submitted the demand letter to Sonowal.

“Sonowal had said he would never do something which would be harmful to the people of the state. Now the moment has come for passage of the bill in Parliament. We want to know what is Sonowal’s stand on the bill,” said Akhil Gogoi, adviser of Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, which led Tuesday’s bandh, along with the AJYCP.

“We have demanded that he should invite us within seven days to clarify his stand on the bill, failing which we will launch vigorous protests,” he said.

The bandh, that crippled the Brahmaputra Valley, had shown how deeply it had been affected by the bid to pass the bill. The bandh was supported by 14 other organisations.

The 46 organisations expressed unhappiness on the BJP central and state executive support for the bill, preparation of report on the bill by the joint parliamentary committee without visiting the state again and the prolonged silence of Sonowal on the issue.

Akhil said they also sent letters to the AGP and the BPF, the two alliance partners of the BJP, to learn about their strategy on the bill.

“The AGP is in the government. Yet it opposes the bill. We want to know how they will stop the Centre from presenting the bill in Parliament,” he said.

The 46 organisations held a meeting here on Wednesday evening to chalk out their future programmes.

In a related development, the CPM on Thursday demanded that the JPC visit the state again and slammed it for ignoring the feelings of the people. It also criticised the Centre for attempting to pass the bill in the winter session of Parliament despite protests and termed it as an attack on the Constitution and communal harmony.

“The BJP government at the Centre is hell bent on passing the bill against the wishes of the people of Assam. It is trying to polarise Assamese and Bengali communities in the state by passing the bill. Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal has failed to protect the interests of the people. We demand that the JPC visit the state again and listen to the views of the people,” state CPM secretary Deben Bhattacharya said.

Former MP Uddhav Barman said, “There is a need to raise the living standard of people. Farmers are suffering, women lack medical facilities. The BJP is spending money on festivals. If the bill is not scrapped, more problems will arise.”

Additional reporting by Ali Fauz Hassan