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BJP to welcome persecuted lot, asserts Dass
STAFF REPORTER
 GUWAHATI, Feb 13 - Notwithstanding the failure of the BJP-led government to push through the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in Rajya Sabha, the ruling party today asserted that they remain committed to the idea of providing shelter to persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries.

State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass said the Central government did not press ahead with the Bill respecting democratic traditions as there was lack of consensus on the issue among various parties and as the BJP lacked a majority in the Upper House.

“There was lack of consensus among various parties and even some of the NDA constituents opposed the Bill. As we lack a majority of our own in Rajya Sabha, we would not have been able to pass the proposed legislation in such circumstance. So the government did not press ahead with the Bill today,” Dass said.

He, however, added that the BJP remains committed to the issue of providing shelter to Hindus and other persecuted minorities from neighbouring countries. He said the cut-off date under the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 was December 2014.

“But many members of Rabha, Garo and Koch Rajbongshi communities continue to reside in Bangladesh. So in future, maybe there will be another Bill and that may cover such people also in case they face religious persecution in their place of residence,” he said.

Dass added that he has already requested Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal to forward resignation letters of the three AGP ministers to the Governor.

The AGP had snapped ties with the BJP in early January and all three members of the regional party in the Sonowal government had resigned from the ministry. However, the Chief Minister is yet to forward the resignation letters to the Governor.

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