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AGP urges Centre not to go ahead with citizenship Bill
Spl Correspondent

Leaders of Asom Gana Parishad meeting with Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in New Delhi on Tuesday. – UB Photos
 NEW DELHI, June 12 - The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) Legislature Party today called on Home Minister Rajnath Singh and urged him not to go ahead with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

The AGP delegation led by its president Atul Bora and comprising former Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, besides two State Ministers Keshab Mahanta and Phani Bhusan Choudhury, held a meeting with Singh, who was joined by Union Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba and Joint Secretary (North-east) Satyendra Garg and others.

Later, Atul Bora told newsmen that they found the Home Minister’s words very encouraging. “He assured us that without the consent of the people of Assam, the Centre will not take any step.”

“His statement is encouraging. The Centre is aware about the sentiments of the people of Assam,” Bora said.

Meanwhile, Phani Bhusan Choudhury said the people of Assam want that the Assam Accord be implemented in letter and spirit. Keshab Mahanta said that as the AGP is a secular party and India is a secular country, no decision that is solely based on religion can be taken. The AGP will not accept anything that is against the Assam Accord, Mahanta said.

Asked whether the AGP is ready to snap ties with the BJP if the situation so warrants, Bora said his party is going to watch the Centre’s moves closely, and thereafter, take the appropriate step.

Meanwhile, Nagaland Chief Minister N Rio denied that the Nagaland government has opposed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. He said the State Cabinet discussed the issue and stressed that Article 371(A) and the Inner Line Permit mechanism have given them protection from the Bill. “However, in case of any problem, we will oppose it,” Rio said.

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