Guwahati, March 16, 2019
North East Democratic Alliance(NEDA) convenor and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma on March 15th 2019 asserted that the Asom Gana Parishad(AGP) and Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP) will resume talks over the much-debated Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, after the Lok Sabha elections.
Two months after pulling out over the contentious Citizenship Bill, the AGP and BJP are back as allies in poll-bound Assam. The deal was sealed on March 12th, 2019 in Guwahati.
”The Bill will be discussed after the Lok Sabha elections. 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,” Himanta Biswa Sarma said.
The Minister further added that they will not speak on the Bill while campaigning for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Assam and that presently the party’s focus is on sweeping the polls with a huge margin in Assam.
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.