Guwahati, March 15, 2019
Assam Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Ranjeet Kumar Dass on March 15th, 2019 exuded confidence that post the fresh alliance with Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the saffron party is confident of sweeping 12 out of 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam in the ensuing 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Two months after pulling out over the much-debated Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the AGP and BJP are back as allies in poll-bound Assam. The deal was sealed on March 12th, 2019 in Guwahati. On March 15th, 2019, the state BJP-AGP leaders briefed the media jointly at the Assam BJP headquarters in Hengrabari at Guwahati, a first after joining hands.
The meeting on March 15th, 2019 was chaired by North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) Convenor and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma, Dass, AGP president Atul Bora, senior AGP leader Keshav Mahanta.
“With the alliance in place, we are confident of winning 12 seats in Assam. I will fly to New Delhi on March 16th, 2019. The BJP parliamentary committee will finalize the list of candidates,” said Dass.
The Lok Sabha elections in Assam will be held in three phases on April 11th, 18th and 23rd, 2019. The results of the election will be announced on May 23rd, 2019.
Sarma, once again, on March 15th, 2019 asserted that the BJP is firm on passing the Citizenship Bill. As reported earlier in TIME8, Sarma on March 13th, 2019 had said, “We are committed to re-introduce this bill in the next Parliament session but in between, we will have two-three months’ time in which we have decided to create a consensus on the issue.”
Sarma said that presently the focus is on sweeping the polls with a huge margin in Assam.”The Bill will be discussed after the Lok Sabha elections and do not want any conflict over the point of difference. Right now, our focus is to make sure that Narendra Modi is voted to power again,” he said on March 15th, 2019.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 seeks to amend the Citizenship Act, 1955, to grant nationality to people belonging to minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — in Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of their residence in India. Massive protests broke out across the Northeast region after the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha.
Several Mishing organisations including Ganashakti and Takam Mising Porin Kebang have decided to support the BJP in the coming Lok Sabha elections. The organisations have informed their decision to Assam Minister Sarma during a meeting at his MLA residence in Guwahati on March 15th, 2019.