Guwahati, February 10, 2019
Former Union Finance and External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha speaking at an event organized by the Asam Nagarik Samaj in the city on February 10th, 2019 said that the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill violates the Assam Accord and is against the ethos of the country.
Sinha said, “The Citizenship Bill has nothing that makes it eligible to become a law and I assure that the rest of India is with the entire Northeast for its agitation against the Bill.”
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.
The opposition parties in Assam, students’ bodies and the civil societies are protesting against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, claiming it will change the region’s demography and violates the historic 1985 Assam Accord. Widespread protests broke out in Assam after the Bill was passed at the Lok Sabha on January 8th, 2019.
Sinha had quit the Bharatiya Janata Party in the year 2018. “If Narendra Modi comes back to power again whatever democracy we have left in our country will vanish. There is an undeclared emergency in our country and an atmosphere of fear looms in the country,” he added while criticizing the BJP government.
It may be mentioned that the Assam Accord was a Memorandum of Settlement signed between representatives of the Government of India and the leaders of the Assam Movement in New Delhi on August 15, 1985 in presence of Rajiv Gandhi, the then Prime Minister. A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the All Assam Students’ Union in 1979.