GUWAHATI, Dec 2 - The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) today said that it will oppose any attempt of the government to bring the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB and added that, if implemented, the proposed legislation will “permanently open the door for foreigners” and pose an existential threat to the language, culture and heritage of the Assamese people.
The Badruddin Ajmal-led party will organise protests across the State on December 4 to oppose the Centre’s attempt to implement the CAB.
Addressing a press conference here, AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam accused the BJP-led government of trying to divide the people of the North East on the issue.
Islam said the Assam Accord had set 1971 as the cut-off date for identification and deportation of foreigners. “The CAB, however, will make 2014 the cut-off date. Tomorrow, they will amend it and make 2025 and later 2035. It will permanently keep the door open for foreigners and the Assamese culture and language will vanish.
“We will mobilise the masses against CAB. We will undertake agitations, but will never agree to implementation of the CAB. If necessary, we will approach the Supreme Court,” he said.
“CAB is a plan formed by the BJP to allow Bangladeshis to become Indian citizens. We told Amit Shah that CAB will dilute the basic structure and the Preamble to the Constitution. CAB will not only nullify the Assam Accord but also violate many Articles of the Constitution... We told Amit Shah that if you want to bring CAB then you first amend the Constitution. He replied that ‘Sirf kagaz se desh nahin chalta’. I told him that no one is above the Constitution. I was told that I should start ‘thinking like an Indian’... Amit Shah has stated in Parliament that CAB and NRC are not related. But to us, he said that both are interrelated,” said the AIUDF leader.
Regarding reports that states governed by the Inner Line Permit and areas under the Sixth Schedule will be kept outside the purview of CAB, Islam said that even now many non-tribals are owning land and other immovable property in tribal belts.
“Then there is the question of jobs and other economic considerations. CAB will affect all. There is no provision in the Indian Constitution to differentiate citizens. So how can you stop anyone from enjoying benefits?” Islam said.
He said the Centre is dangling the implementation of Clause 6 like a “lollipop” before the people of Assam. “On one hand, they are talking of implementing Clause 6. On the other they want to bring CAB with 2014 as cut-off year. Then they talk of another NRC with 1951 as base year... Nobody talks of Clause 5 of the Assam Accord... Clause 6 is being dangled as a lollipop,” he added.