Guwahati, February 9, 2019
Amid widespread protests, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of Rs 1925 crore six-lane bridge over the Brahmaputra connecting Guwahati and North Guwahati and attend the bhumi pujan for the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Changsari in Kamrup district of Assam.
Modi met with protests from the members of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on February 8th, 2019, ahead of his rally in the state. The AASU members showed black flags to the Prime Minister as he travelled to Raj Bhavan from the LGBI Airport after he arrived in Guwahati Modi is on a two-day visit to the Northeast – Assam, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. Slogans like ‘Modi go back’, ‘Scrap Citizenship Amendment Bill’, ‘Joi Aai Asom’ were raised by the protestors.
Modi who left for Arunachal Pradesh on the morning of February 9th, 2019 was once again shown black flags on his way to the LGBI Airport by the members of the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) near the Machkhowa area in Guwahati. Several AJYCP members were detained by the city police.
BJP welcomes Modi
To counter the critics and dismissing the on-going protests, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that “people in large numbers are pouring in from all parts of Assam to witness a historical event” at Changsari.
On a pleasant Friday evening Guwahatians, across multiple roads, came out in plenty to see and cheer their adorable Prime Minister who never misses any opportunity to give his blessings to #Assam.
— Himanta Biswa Sarma (@himantabiswa) February 8, 2019
Meanwhile, despite a light drizzle, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) activists took out a bike rally towards Changsari where Modi will reach at around 12:30 pm.
“AIIMS Assam is going to fulfill a long felt need of North-east for a state of the art institute providing medical treatment at affordable cost as well as facilitating medical research,” tweeted Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
After reaching Guwahati, Modi will address a rally ‘Vijay Sankalp Mahaganasamabesh’. Around 3 lakh BJP supporters will attend the rally and 10 motorbike rallies will reach the spot from various districts across the state. The rally will be to sound the poll bugle for the party for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Security arrangements were intensified across Guwahati and the state in view of protests against Modi’s Assam visit. The Assam Police has banned movement of people and vehicles along the along the stretch between the AASU office at Uzan Bazar and the Raj Bhavan. The patrolling by the police and paramilitary forces have been intensified across the state.
The respective district superintendents of police and deputy commissioners have been instructed to ensure public peace and maintain law and order. Prohibitory orders were imposed in the entire Guwahati city in the wake of protests.
AIIMS Assam is going to fulfill a long felt need of North-east for a state of the art institute providing medical treatment at affordable cost as well as facilitating medical research. #NorthEastForModi#NorthEast #TransformingAssam #TransformingIndia #AIIMS pic.twitter.com/0UTARYQbbh
— MyGov Assam (@mygovassam) February 9, 2019
Effigy of Modi
Addressing the media here on February 8, 2019, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) president Dipankar Kumar Nath said that effigies of Modi and replicas of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be burnt by the AASU activists across the state on February 9th, 2019 to oppose his visit to the state.
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.
Prime Minister Modi arrived in Guwahati to a black flag welcome on February 8th, 2019, despite the security bandobast across the city. The All Assam Students’ Union raised black flags as the PM’s cavalcade passed in front of the organisation’s office at Uzan Bazar on February 8th, 2019.
The anger against the Citizenship Amendment Bill is at bursting point with the opposition parties in Assam, students’ bodies and the civil societies are protesting against the Bill, claiming it will change the region’s demography and violates the historic 1985 Assam Accord.
The Prime Minister was first greeted with black flag protests at Jalukbari by the students of Gauhati University on his way to Raj Bhawan. The protesters dotted the entire route shouting anti-Modi slogan and waving black flags. Looking unruffled, PM Modi smiled and waved to the protesting students from inside his car.