Guwahati, February 2: Asserting that provisions of the Assam Accord will not be violated by the Citizenship bill, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal Friday claimed “unnecessary social disturbance” was being created over the bill ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.
Replying to the debate on Governor’s speech during the ongoing Budget Session of Assam Assembly, Sonowal said no one in the state should feel threatened as Prime Minister Narendra Modi will not take any decision to hurt the emotions and interests of the North-East region or Assam.
“It is not right to unnecessarily create social disturbance ahead of Lok Sabha polls. Polls will come and go, but we will not harm the indigenous people,” Sonowal said “All are 100 per cent safe here. We will continue to work for the people of Brahmaputra and Barak valleys,” he added.
Talking about the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the chief minister asserted it is not true that the Assam Accord will be violated if the bill was implemented.
“Many people are giving data on illegal foreigners, but without any basis. Once NRC is done, we will get the actual figure of illegal foreigners,” he added.
Reacting to protests against the bill, Sonowal said, “You can definitely talk and debate the Citizenship Bill, we will listen. But you do not have right to go on roads, disturb peace and affect livelihood of the poor. It is undemocratic.” Requesting people to not take law into their hands, Sonowal asked the opposition parties to stop spreading lies.
“Assam will not lag behind unless you create disturbances. There should be tolerance. We, the ruling party, cooperate with your demands. You also have the responsibility to tell the people truth,” Sonowal said to the Opposition.
“We have been told lots of things these days. We are very tolerant. But time will not forgive (you) if you confuse people to create unrest in Assam,” he added.
Regarding the apprehensions expressed by the members of the House, Sonowal said that if the problems of the society were addressed carefully, then there will be no issue and the state assembly needs to send out a healthy signal.
“The Citizenship Bill is for entire nation, not only Assam… Then why unnecessary fear is being created among people? From where has this figure of 1.9 crore Hindu Bangladeshis coming to Assam emerged?”, he wondered.
“We should not confuse people by saying that Assamese identity and culture will be finished. The opposition should behave responsibly,” he added.
After partition, the minorities were tortured in the neighbouring countries and the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Home Minister Vallabhbhai Patel assured people to give shelter and the current policies were framed on those commitments.
On the Clause-5 of the Assam Accord, which is about detection, deletion and deportation of illegal foreigners coming to Assam on or after March 24, 1971, Sonowal claimed the Modi government took steps to implement it.
“Modi signed the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh and now sealing of border is going on in full swing. We are going to complete it in our tenure. By March, the riverine border will also be sealed,” he said.
“NRC update is also going on in our period and we will complete it by July 31, 2019 as per the Supreme Court order,” he added.
“We are sincere about it and engaged 55,000 government employees in this task. Once the NRC is ready, it will be the first step towards implementing Clause-5,” he said further. (PTI)