GUWAHATI, Sept 10 - Criticising the ruling BJP over its stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill or CAB, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today commended the Chief Ministers of Meghalaya, Nagaland and Mizoram for speaking out against the proposed legislation.
Addressing a press conference here today, Gogoi said the NRC was updated with March 25, 1971, as the cut-off date as per provisions of the Assam Accord to solve the State’s long-standing foreigner problem.
“But if the CAB is passed with December 31, 2014, as the cut-off, as Amit Shah said here yesterday, the NRC will become a waste paper,” Gogoi said.
His comments came a day after Union Home Minister and BJP’s national president Amit Shah told the NEDA constituents that CAB would be passed with December 31, 2014, as the cut-off date.
“Yesterday was a black spot (sic) day for Assam,” Gogoi said.
Gogoi accused the BJP of adopting a dual stand on the issue of illegal immigrants.
He said on one hand the ruling party talks about implementation of the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, which envisages appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.
“But, on the other hand, they want to bring the CAB with a cut-off date of December 31, 2014. Their stand is full of contradictions,” Gogoi said.
He said the NRC update process was undertaken to solve the foreigners’ problem once and for all.
“However, the BJP has now made the NRC a valueless document,” said the former Chief Minister.
Gogoi said the BJP is responsible for the State not getting an error-free NRC.
He complimented Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio and Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga for speaking out against the CAB during the NEDA meeting yesterday.
Gogoi, however, castigated Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance Minister and NEDA convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma. He accused the duo of sacrificing the interests of the State for the sake of political power.
He also lambasted the AGP leaders on the issue and accused the regional party of keeping mum on such a sensitive issue concerning the future of Assam.
The former Chief Minister said that time has come for the people of Assam to unite and take a stand against the Bill. He added that if CAB is implemented then the State will witness a major change in its demography.