AGP seeks Sena support to block Citizenship bill

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GUWAHATI, JUNE 17: A 6-member delegation of Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), including its 3 Ministers in the BJP-led coalition Government in the state, called on Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray in Mumbai on Saturday and sought his party’s support to block the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
AGP president and state Agriculture Minister Atul Bora said, “This is the first time that AGP and the Shiv Sena have met. We have decided to work together for strengthening regional politics. The Shiv Sena chief immediately called up his party’s leader in the Rajya Sabha, Sanjay Raut, to ask all Members of Parliament of the party to stand with the people of Assam.” Bora added that he has invited Thackeray to visit Assam and Thackeray in turn has accepted the invitation.
The meeting comes at a time when the rift between Shiv Sena and BJP has become apparent with the former publicly criticizing the Centre’s policies. On Saturday, the party slammed the “violence, bloodbath and series of killings” in Kashmir, with particular reference to the gunning down of editor of ‘Rising Kashmir’ Shujaat Bukhari.
Though BJP have been wooing Shiv Sena to contest the Lok Sabha polls together next year, the latter has declared that it will go it alone in 2019.
AGP is trying to unite regional parties outside the state to drum up support for its opposition to the bill. The party has said they will remain a part of the BJP-led alliance Government while continuing to oppose the bill.
An AGP delegation led by Bora had met President Ram Nath Kovind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh to express their opposition to the bill.
When the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) had visited the state last month, AGP had also registered its opposition the Bill.
Bora has also recently voiced his protest against the Bill in front of BJP national president Amit Shah at the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) meeting in Guwahati. (TNN)