GUWAHATI, Feb 15 - Complimenting the people of Assam and the North East for standing united against the Centre’s attempt to pass the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill-2016, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on Thursday said that it will try to strengthen the ideology of ‘regionalism’ and also coordinate closely with other regional parties in future in order to wrest our legitimate dues.
Addressing a press meet after his arrival from New Delhi, AGP president Atul Bora, however, refused to give a categorical answer when asked if, in view of the fact that the Bill is most likely to lapse with dissolution of the Lok Sabha after the coming General Elections, the regional party may consider once again joining hands with the BJP.
“In recent months, we have fought together with various other organisations and the people of Assam, for a cause. Whatever path we take in future, whether we contest the coming Lok Sabha polls alone or in alliance with any other party, what our future strategy would be, we will decide after taking the people of Assam into confidence,” Bora said.
He added, “We will have to discuss the issue within our party… We will take a decision soon.”
AGP had snapped ties with the BJP in early January and all three members of the regional party in the Sarbananda Sonowal government had resigned from the ministry. However, the Chief Minister has yet to forward the resignations to the Governor.
“We submitted our resignations. We broke the alliance. We sat in the Opposition benches in the recent session of the Legislative Assembly. They (BJP) will know better why our resignation letters have not been forwarded to the Governor,” said the AGP president.
Bora said that AGP has been fighting against the Bill since the beginning.
“We were successful. I extend my felicitations to the people of the North East. The regional parties of the North East and various chief ministers of the region supported us on the issue. AASU and its 30 allied outfits, KMSS and AJYCP and 70 outfits allied with them, the Asam Sahitya Sabha, the Karmachari Parishad, artistes, intellectuals, our AGP workers, the media, and all people of Assam put up a joint fight against the Bill,” said Bora.
He added, “We must keep a sharp eye to ensure that in future also the Centre does not succeed in putting the burden of foreigners upon the people of Assam and the North East… We warn Delhi not to play with the sentiments of the indigenous people of the North East.”
Bora singled out Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma for the latter’s role in the fight against the Bill.
“In the future also, we will fight unitedly with Conrad and other regional leaders and organisations of the North East,” Bora said.
He expressed confidence that the Central government is unlikely to take the ordinance route with regard to the Bill.
“With the next Lok Sabha polls round the corner, it is unlikely that the government will promulgate an ordinance. Many people are saying many things. But I believe that it will not be easy to bring back the Bill,” Bora added.