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1-min read

Ally Trouble Mounts for BJP as AGP Walks Out of Govt Over Citizenship Bill

The AGP has earlier too expressed reservations with the Citizenship Bill, saying it will make the Assam Accord “meaningless”.

News18.com

Updated:January 7, 2019, 2:55 PM IST
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Ally Trouble Mounts for BJP as AGP Walks Out of Govt Over Citizenship Bill
Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) President Atul Bora addresses the media, in Guwahati (Image: PTI)

The BJP’s troubles with its allies seem to be mounting as the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on Monday said it had decided to break ties with the saffron party over the Citizenship Bill.

Former Assam CM Prafulla Mahanta said the party was walking out of the government over the contentious issue.

The AGP has earlier too expressed reservations with the Citizenship Bill, saying it will make the Assam Accord “meaningless”. “We decided for an alliance with the BJP based on understanding on the Assam Accord and other issues.

The Government of India by introducing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament has violated the understanding,” it had said in a letter.

AGP president Atul Bora had written to BJP chief Amit Shah about his party’s reservations on the bill. “We decided for an alliance with the BJP based on understanding on the Assam Accord and other issues.

The Government of India by introducing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament has violated the understanding,” the letter had read.

The AGP was formed after the Assam Accord and like Assam’s current chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, they have vehemently opposed the influx of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants, although without distinguishing between Hindu and Muslim migrants.

While the AGP had been announcing that it will break the alliance if the BJP goes ahead with the Citizenship Bill, pressure was mounting on it to break ties with the BJP. ​

In a house of 126, BJP along with its allies Asom Gana Parishad and Bodoland People’s Front have 86 seats, of which 60 belong to the BJP, 14 to the AGP and 12 to the BPF.

So, the AGP pulling out does not seem to pose a threat to the government. But, with the Lok Sabha elections looming large, this can have massive repercussion in Upper Assam, where Assamese identity has often been the main poll plank in every election.

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