On the very first day of this year’s winter session, Assam legislative assembly woke up to a walk-out staged by MLAs of opposition parties on Thursday.
The MLAs belonging to Congress party and All India United Democratic Front demanded the quashing of question hour and a discussion on the topic of NRC (National Register of Citizens) and Citizenship Amendment Bill. These two provisions have been vehemently opposed by various political outfits in the North-east.
Responding to their alleged demand, Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami said that the assembly cannot call of the Question Hour. Thereafter his refusal to cancel the Question Hour, the opposing parties staged a walkout.
Speaking on the demonstrated walkout, former Chief Minister of the state, Tarun Gogoi said, “The reason behind the protest is the Citizenship Amendment bill that the union government is proposing to table in the parliament. That bill would definitely violate the Assam accord 1971.” (ANI source)
He further slammed the ruling government’s decision ad added that the motive of the bill is running contrary to the constitutional spirit, secularism, and right to equality. Tarun Gogoi also questioned the silence of incumbent Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on the issue. Expressing his discontent with the saffron party further, he said that the Bhartiya Janta Party has prioritized power over the state’s culture and in this circumstance, Sarbananda Sonowal has no moral authority to continue his office.
The ongoing protest in Assam and other regions over the Citizenship bill and NRC exercise have been carried out after the Home Minister Amit Shah said that the Parliament will be executing it in the nation.
Citizenship Amendment Bill
The bill seeks to declare Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan eligible for citizenship who came to India before December 31, 2014. The Bill only carries the provision of citizenship for the non-muslim population that arrived from the neighboring nations. The fear over the bill has increased since the Home Minister Amit Shah in North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) meeting said that that the Bill would be passed in the upcoming winter session of the Parliament.
Even North-eastern governments have come together to stand on this issue as one.