Amit Shah Says Northeast Will be 'Congress-Mukt' After Upcoming Mizoram Polls
Amit Shah was also certain of the BJP's victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He was attending the third conclave of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in Guwahati on Sunday.
BJP President Amit Shah with chief ministers Sarbananda Sonowal, Neiphiu Rio at the 3rd conclave of North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) meeting in Guwahati on Sunday. (PTI Photo)
Guwahati: BJP president Amit Shah on Sunday exuded confidence of winning the upcoming Assembly elections in Mizoram and declared it to be the seventh northeastern state that would join the BJP in its aim of a ‘Congress-mukt Northeast’.
Shah was also certain of the BJP's victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. He was attending the third conclave of the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) in Guwahati on Sunday.
The BJP president’s visit to Assam, however, sparked outrage among supporters of the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) and a few NGOs who protested against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 and Centre’s proposed move to facilitate citizenship to migrants from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Hundreds gathered with black flags, banners and black balloons to protest against Shah’s visit. Many braved the morning drizzle and staged demonstrations at different locations in Guwahati - starting from the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport to Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra where the NEDA conclave was held.
“We are welcoming Amit Shah with black flags to make it clear that we will not allow Bangladeshis in Assam – whether they are Hindus or Muslims. Assam will not bear the burden of illegal migrants,” said KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi.
An hour before Amit Shah’s visit, Assam police rounded up several protesters and detained KMSS chief Akhil Gogoi along with a number of his supporters.
“We had to take steps to maintain law and order during such an important event. Ensuring security for visiting dignitaries is the mandate of the state police department,” said Mukesh Agarwal, Additional Director General of Police.
Chief Ministers of six northeastern states where BJP is in power or in coalition attended the NEDA conclave except for Sikkim Chief Minister Pawan Chamling. Chief Ministers Sarbananda Sonowal of Asssam, Pema Khandu of Arunachal Pradesh, Nongthombam Biren Singh of Manipur, Conrad Sangma of Meghalaya, Neiphiu Rio of Nagaland and Biplab Kumar Deb of Tripura took part in the conclave along with other NEDA members, including several regional parties from different states and BJP’s coalition partners. Lok Sabha MP from Sikkim, Prem Das Rai, represented the state government.
The Asom Gana Parishad, an ally of the BJP-led government in Assam, had earlier threatened to withdraw support from the government if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is introduced. AGP president Atul Bora on Sunday took this opportunity to speak out against the Bill.
“This Bill is a threat to the identity of the people here. It will change the demography of Assam. There should not be a division based on religious lines and we urge the Centre to not push it further. We are sure Amit Shah Ji will realise the gravity of the situation,” said Bora.
On the other hand, Conrad Sangma reiterated the government’s stand against the Bill. The Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government, of which the BJP is also a partner, took its decision to oppose the Bill a day before the 16-member Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) visited the state to hear views from the state government and stakeholders.
(With inputs from Raju Baruah)
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