GUWAHATI, Jan 3 - The ongoing anti-Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) agitation is taking a distinctive political colour and the BJP is ready to take up the challenge that might emerge if a new regional political formation takes shape from it, Finance Minister and NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma said here today.
Addressing the media, Sarma said that the CAA issue is now before the Supreme Court. “The Supreme Court will hear the matter on January 22. If we have made any mistakes in framing the law, the Supreme Court will decide on it. And if we have done things correctly, then also the Supreme Court will decide. But, the anti-CAA agitation is slowly taking a political colour. Everybody is saying that their aim is to form a political party or to prepare a political alternative in Assam by means of the agitation. So some political aims are getting reflected in midst of the agitation,” he said.
He added that even if a new political party emerges, such a force cannot contest the next elections only on the back of just one issue.
“What else will be there in their manifesto? What is their view on other issues affecting Assam? Once those things become clear, we will also respond politically. If the matter remains confined to only a democratic agitation on the issue of CAA, then we have nothing to say. But, if a political platform emerges, then BJP will consider it as a political challenge and will go before the masses seeking a political mandate (in our favour)... Now agitationists are speaking more about forming a political party and less about the Act,” Sarma reasoned.
The ruling party will hold a State-level convention of its booth presidents and elected representatives, at the Veterinary College playground, Khanapara here tomorrow. BJP’s national working president JP Nadda will address the event, which will be attended by over 90,000 party cadres.
Sarma said that BJP cadres have faced threats and intimidations at many places during the past few weeks.
“Bus owners have been threatened at some places in Upper Assam and asked not to ferry BJP cadres to the meeting. Such things are not right. In a democracy everyone has a right to express his or her own opinion. However, despite all this, tomorrow you will witness the huge enthusiasm of the BJP cadres here...Despite threats and intimidations, the BJP cadres will prove that they are invincible and iron-willed,” Sarma said. Asked about the massive crowds witnessed during anti-CAA protest events, Sarma said that his meetings are also attended by thousands.
“We have entered the battlefield. In 2021, things will become clear and we will know with whom the masses are. People of Assam will know how to distinguish chalk from cheese when they witness the agitation being used for fulfilling the political ambitions of some individuals,” said the minister. He also took strong objection to agitationists displaying black flags to ruling party leaders when they are visiting religious places or visiting homes of colleagues who have passed away to offer condolences.