As Assam continues to be on the boil due to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, Assam Chief Minister said a section has maligned the image of the state by spreading misinformation that only Assam will have to again bear the burden of illegal immigrants.
Sonowal took to Twitter on December 9th, 2019 and wrote, “It is important to realise that the #CitizenshipAmendmentBill is for the whole of India and not only for Assam.”
The Chief Minister claimed that numerous government came and went but none of them were committed to fighting for the people of Assam. He further urged the newly elected office bearers of Mandal and Zilla Parishads to disseminate information on Bill to the local populace so that they are not misled.
Sonowal also asked the BJP karyakartas to stay vigilant and check the spread of misinformation. “Let us all engage in discussions and deliberations with the public to remove any doubts regarding the Bill,” he said while addressing the BJP Assam Mandal and Zila Sabhapati Sanmilan in Guwahati.
Student leader turned politician, Sonowal earlier said that that the youths must not be misled to join agitations based on concocted and baseless grounds. He said that the youth of the state must not invest the productive time of their lives participating in protest rallies.
The Chief Minister had to face the wrath of the anti-Bill supporters twice on December 8th, 2019. He was shown black flags at two separate locations in Guwahati and Kaliabor by the volunteers of the All Assam Students’ Union. Last week, his house in Dibrugarh was also gheraoed by the activists of the AASU.
The students’ bodies slammed Sonowal for his “stoic silence” over the Bill and for “surrendering” before the BJP. The students of Dibrugarh University – Sonowal’s alma mater – also ‘banned’ his entry into the varsity campus for supporting the Bill
The Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to the people belonging to the Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists, and Parsis who have become the victims of religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan and entered India on or before December 31st, 2014.
However, a large section of people in Assam have been protesting against the Bill, saying it is against the secular characteristics of the Constitution of India and it would nullify the historic 1985 Assam Accord under which any foreign national, irrespective of religion, who had entered the state after 1971 should be deported.
The Bill was tabled by Union Home Minister Amit Shah in the Lok Sabha on December 9th, 2019.
Photo credit: @sarbanandsonwal