BJP Committed to Passing Citizenship Amendment Bill, Will Take Up Issue With AGP After Polls: Himanta Biswa Sarma
File Photo of Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma.
Assam: Days after AGP-BJP's reunion, Assam’s finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said both the parties remain firm on their stand to bring the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB).
"We are committed to bringing the Citizenship Amendment Bill and we already cleared that point. We have many issues in country to consider before the Lok Sabha elections begin. We are only committed to bringing prosperity to Assam and the entire northeastern region under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Sarma said.
He added that the decision regarding the bill will be taken once the polls are over. “We will sit together to discuss the matter after the polls. The AGP has not pushed aside its stand and we, too, have not changed our earlier decision," Sharma said.
The AGP had severed ties with the BJP-led government in Assam in January to protest against the Centre’s decision to ensure the controversial Bill’s passage in the Lok Sabha. It returned to the NDA fold on Tuesday.
But the decision has led to revolt within the AGP. Former chief minister and founder leader of AGP, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, has been speaking against the reunion. “This decision is not valid. Only four to five people can't take decision all by themselves. The central executive of the party has rejected this reunion and I can't shake hands with a communal and anti-Assam political party," Mahanta was quoted as saying.
The anguish against party leadership was also felt when a few leaders tendered resignation the day it reunited with the BJP. However, AGP leaders Atul Borah, Keshab Mahanta and Phani Bhusan Choudhury are definitely not in the mood to discuss this narrative, and are in fact busy meeting state BJP leaders.
On Thursday, BJP leader Mahendra Singh, state BJP president Ranjit Dass and Sharma, along with a few other colleagues visited the AGP office. On Friday, the three AGP ministers visited BJP office for a formal meet. They organised a joint presser where Sharma strategically clarified the CAB matter. State BJP president Ranjit Dass also expressed his pleasure about this alliance. According to the BJP, they are confident of winning 12 seats after teaming up with AGP.
"We wish to see Narendra Modi again as our prime minister. We are visiting each other’s office to send out a message to our party workers," said AGP president Atul Borah.
Both the parties have decided to set aside the citizenship amendment bill issue till the elections are over. For now, there energies are focused on fighting the Opposition effectively.