R Dutta Choudhury
GUWAHATI, Feb 13 - Desperate attempts by the BJP to get the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 passed in the Rajya Sabha strengthened the bond of unity among the indigenous people of the states of the North East region. This was the observation made by chief adviser of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Samujjal Bhattacharya after the Centre failed to move the Bill on the concluding day of the current session of the Rajya Sabha today.
Talking to The Assam Tribune after the bid by the Centre to move the Bill in the Rajya Sabha failed, Bhattacharya said, “though the states of the North East are geographically divided, we are united emotionally. The Centre’s attempts to impose the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill only strengthened the bond of unity among the states of the region. The rulers in Delhi must understand that they will continue to face stiff resistance from the indigenous people of the region whenever they try to do political injustice to the indigenous people.”
Bhattacharya pointed out that all sections of indigenous people of the North East strongly resisted the attempts of the Centre to impose the Bill against the wishes of the people and the failure of the Government to do so is a victory of the indigenous people of the region. He lauded Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for his crucial role in this regard. He said that Sangma played the key role in uniting the regional parties of the states of the region to jointly oppose the Bill.
The AASU chief adviser said that the Centre must also withdraw the Foreigners (Amendment) Order, 2015, Passport (Entry into India) Rules, 2015 and the scheme for providing long term visa to foreigners in the interest of protecting the identity of the indigenous people of the North East.
Bhattacharya expressed the view that though the Centre, because of stiff opposition from the people of the region, failed to bring the Bill in the Rajya Sabha today, it is not the time to rejoice and the people must be on their guard to thwart any more attempt by the Government to do political injustice to the region. He warned the Centre not to play with the future of the indigenous people of the region and said that the political parties must learn their lessons from the united struggle by the people of North East. He also alleged that the Centre’s desperate attempts to bring the Bill despite strong opposition only created a feeling of alienation in the minds of the people of the region.