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CAB first, NRC later: Himanta
Staff Correspondent

 
 SILCHAR, Sept 23 - Reiterating the BJP’s commitment of providing citizenship to the displaced and persecuted minorities from erstwhile East Pakistan, Minister of Finance, Health and PWD Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma on Monday said Government is on course to table the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, (CAB) in November this year.

 As a part of the nationwide Rashtriya Ekta Abhiyan, Sarma was on a one-day visit to Barak Valley to deliver a talk at Silchar on the ramifications of the abrogation of Article 370 from Kashmir.

Claiming that the BJP wishes to win the confidence of everyone across North East in bringing the Bill, Sarma, who is also the convener of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) said, “the National Register of Citizens (NRC) is not what we expected. BJP does not want any confrontation or chaos over the CAB. Despite massive protests and agitation, the BJP has been able to win 99 per cent votes across Assam in the Lok Sabha election. There will be another comprehensive NRC after we come up with the CAB with the consent of all stakeholders.”

Further, allaying the apprehensions and fear among the people, particularly those left out of the NRC, Sarma said that there is no reason to panic for those having nationalistic ideologies. However, in response to a query made by former Union Minister and veteran BJP leader Kabindra Purakayastha on the reasons behind setting up of detention camps, Sarma wittily said that once the CAB comes into effect, the picture would be clear who are to be kept in the camps. “There is no reason to worry for people. Language cannot be a factor of debate. We are bound by age-old customs and we must keep faith on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah who have promised to shoulder our worries and come up with a solution. All eyes are on November now.

On the other hand, responding to the demands for repairing of the dilapidated road leading to Silchar Medical College, the PWD Minister announced that Rs 14 crore has been sanctioned for construction of drains and repair work would start from November. Also, he informed that considering the space crunch in the medical college here, the Government has decided to construct another 500 bedded building within the SMCH premises for which Rs 90 crore has been sanctioned. Construction of 150-bedded Cancer hospital is also on the cards along with the much-awaited reconstruction of the District Library auditorium for which Rs 25 crore has been sanctioned, he informed. In his words, total utilisation of the funds is a must and his department will pitch efforts to complete 80 per cent of the construction work of the Silchar bypass before the next Assembly polls.

Earlier, Sarma visited Karimganj and motivated the party workers saying that along with retaining the Ratabari LAC in the ensuing by-poll scheduled on October 21, each worker must strive to stamp victory for BJP in all the five constituencies of Karimganj in the 2021 Assembly polls.

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