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Cracks in BJP-led alliance in Assam as AGP withdraws support to govt

BJP supports migration of Hindus and others from the neighboring countries, but it is opposed to Assamese Muslims who are living in the state since decades

Monday January 7, 2019 10:15 PM, ummid.com News Network

AGP BJP alliance Assam

[AGP leaders including party president Atul Bora meeting Home Minister Rajnath Singh. (File photo/Twitter/Atul Bora)]

New Delhi/Guwahati: Upset over the Bhartiya Janata Party's insistence over passing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) Monday withdrew support to 2-year-old state government in Assam.

The AGP is opposed to the Bill as it believes it will destroy Assam. Ever since May, Assam — especially the Brahmaputra Valley — has seen widespread protests against the Bill.

The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016, seeks to amend the Citizenship Act of 1955 and aims to give citizenship to Hindu, Parsi, Sikh, Jain and Christian migrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Interestingly, the BJP supports migration of Hindus and others from the neighboring countries, but it is opposed to Bangala speaking Assamese Muslims who are living in the state since decades.

“We made a last ditch attempt today to convince the Centre not to pass the Bill. But Rajnath Singh told us clearly that it will be passed in Lok Sabha tomorrow. After this, there is no question of remaining in the alliance,” PTI reported AGP President Atul Bora as saying after meeting the home minister.

The AGP, which is in alliance with the BJP (along with the Bodoland People’s Front), has been threatening to break ties with the alliance ever since the BJP announced its intention to table the Bill.

“We told the Home Minister in categorical terms that this Bill will violate the Assam Accord, it will hinder the ongoing NRC updation process. We told him, ‘Please don’t do this for votes’,” said Bora.

The AGP’s exit, however, does not present any immediate threat to the survival of the BJP-led government in Assam. The BJP has 61 MLAs in the 126-member Assembly and enjoys the support of the Bodo People’s Front (BPF) which has 12 MLAs.

However, the move coming just few months before the General Elections has indeed created a problem for the ruling BJP.

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