Assam Assembly Elections | AGP too skips CAA in manifesto

Assam BJP president Ranjit Kumar Dass (centre), Assam Gana Parishad chief Atul Bora (left) and UPPL president Promod Boro raise hands after announcing their alliance, in Guwahati on March 7, 2021.   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on Wednesday followed ally BJP in skipping the issue of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act but promised in its manifesto to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

Pressure groups in Assam say the CAA, which seeks to fast-track the citizenship of non-Muslims who came from three neighbouring countries till December 31, 2014, contradicts the Assam Accord that prescribes March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date for detecting and deporting illegal immigrants.

Clause 6 guarantees constitutional safeguards for the indigenous people of Assam as a reward for accepting the load of migrants from 1951, when the National Register of Citizens (NRC) was made, and March 1971.

Releasing the manifesto, AGP leaders Birendra Prasad Baishya and Kumar Dipak Das said the party was firm on implementing the Clause 6 for solving the foreigners’ issue.

“The AGP will pressure the Centre for the completion of the exercise to update the NRC,” the manifesto read. The assurance differed from the BJP’s promise to go for a “corrected” NRC after coming to power.

Like the BJP, the AGP avoided mentioning the CAA. The party was initially opposed to the Bill and had threatened to pull out of the Sarbananda Sonowal government in 2019 but backtracked later.

The AGP’s other promises include flood control, development of language and culture, addressing the issue of unemployment, ensuring farmers’ development, better education and health, and special schemes for the elderly and differently abled people.

The manifesto also laid emphasis on the welfare of “tea tribes” and other backward classes, protection of women and children through various government schemes.

The AGP, the largest of the BJP’s two regional allies, will be contesting in 26 seats besides five more that will witness a “friendly fight” with the saffron party.

It had won 14 of the 30 seats it contested in 2016.

The three-phase elections to the 126-member Assembly are on March 27, April 1 and April 6.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 4:35:13 AM |

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