The Citizenship Bill complements NRC in pushing BJP’s Hindutva agenda: here’s how

Stranded passengers wait at an inter-state bus terminal in Guwahati on Tuesday during a strike called by All Assam Students Union and the North East Students Organisation in protest against Citizenship Bill 2016

The Citizenship Bill complements NRC in pushing BJP’s Hindutva agenda: here’s how

Interestingly, even Shiv Sena, an aggrieved NDA ally has chose to join the opposition against the bill, while another ally, Prafulla Mahanta's Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), BJP's partner in Assam, has already announced on Monday pulling out of the alliance over the bill.

The powerful North East Students Organisation (NESO), an umbrella body of eight students and youth organisations of the seven northeastern states, has called an 11-hour shutdown in the entire northeast on Tuesday to protest against the BJP-led NDA government's move to pass the controversial Bill.

According to these leaders, the Bill is against the fundamental aspect of the Indian constitution.

The decision to snap ties with the BJP over the bill that seeks to provide Indian citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan will, however, not affect the stability of the Sarbananda Sonowal-headed government.

The AGP on Monday withdrew its support to the ruling BJP-led coalition government after its "last-ditch attempt to convince" the Centre to withdraw the proposed legislation failed.

Mr. Bora said he would quit as Agriculture Minister on Wednesday along with Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta and Food, Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Minister Phani Bhushan Choudhury.

AGP president Atul Bora said it was very unfortunate that the Centre and BJP didn't listen to the people of Assam.

"Our leaders met Home Minister (Rajnath Singh) and expressed that AGP is going to break the alliance", AGP spokesperson Dilip Patgiri told ANI.

The three AGP ministers and a senior party MLA had gone to New Delhi to meet the prime minister who is yet to give them an appointment.

That could hurt the BJP's goal of sharply increasing its parliamentary seats from the northeast region of the country in the national election.

The BJP has 61 MLAs and support from 12 MLAs of the Bodoland People's Front and the sole Independent member. Later, opposing the bill, members of Congress and TMC staged a walkout. "There is a divisive nature to this bill and the draft committee has shot down all suggested amendments", Professor Sougata Roy, a member of parliament from Trinamool Congress, said during the protest.

"If the bill in its present form comes into effect, then it will nullify the Assam Accord under which anyone entering the state illegally after March 1971 should be declared a foreigner and deported,"an opposition MP said".

"We decided for an alliance with the BJP based on understanding on the Assam Accord and other issues". The bill made illegal migrants - Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians - from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for Indian citizenship.

The fiery opposition to the measure reflects the complex nature of religious and ethnic identity in Assam, a state already embroiled in a separate citizenship controversy. The party had also taken out a rally against the bill in October.

I hope this bill is passed soon in Parliament.

The JPC report said, "The new cut of date implies that no more migrants would be legally allowed India after December 31, 2014 and it should motivate every stakeholder including the central government and the state governments to work in unison to ensure putting in place foolproof measures to prevent illegal migrants from entering the country, especially Assam, which has borne the maximum impact of influx from Bangladesh".

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