Trouble For BJP in Assam: AGP Threatens To Leave NDA over Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016
If the bill is intended to be passed in Parliament, the party says it will have no alternative but to end existing alliance with BJP
The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) might be the next National Democratic Alliance (NDA) partner to walk out and join the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) camp. The faction led by Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is in favour of walking out of NDA, while Atul Bora-Keshav Mahanta camp hinted on December 10 that the party might end its ties with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The rift has been caused by the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
“We will quit the alliance with BJP if Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is passed in Parliament,” Bora was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. The AGP wrote a letter to BJP president Amit Shah underlining their position on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016. “If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is intended to be passed in Parliament, we will have no other alternative except to repudiate the existing alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party,” the party stated.
Former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, who has the backing of more party leaders, is in favour of walking out of the alliance immediately, APN News reported. “Prime Minister Narendra Modi could not fulfil even a single promise he made to the people of Assam during the 2014 Lok Sabha campaign,” he said.
If the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 is passed, the Citizenship Act, 1955 will be amended and illegal migrants — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan — will be eligible for citizenship. The AGP, a junior partner in the BJP-led government in Assam, is against the passage of the Bill.