Cong offers non-BJP Govt. alternative


Guwahati, June 7: The political arena of Assam, witness to widespread protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, is now abuzz with a new proposition – of a non-BJP government.
Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia has said the Congress is ready to offer support if Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal comes out of the Government with MLAs opposed to the bill and takes the initiative to form an alternative government.
Congress MLA of Jania Abdul Khaleque on Wednesday told the media that it is possible to form an alternative government in Assam if all the MLAs who oppose the bill join hands. He said if Sonowal comes out of the Government, the Congress would never put him in any problem.
The BJP-led Government in Assam is under sustained pressure from both within and outside. Protest against the bill and the Government is increasing in the Brahmaputra Valley and the AGP, a coalition partner of the BJP in the Government, has openly opposed the bill.
Hagrama Mohilary, chief of Bodoland Peoples’ Front (BPF), another ally of the BJP, has already announced that the BPF is an “opportunist” party and is only interested in development of the BTAD.
In the 126-member Assembly, the BJP has 61 members, Congress 25, AGP 14, AIUDF 13 and BPF 12 and 1 Independent. The combined strength of the Congress, BJP, BPF and AIUDF is 64. AIUDF had earlier said it would give outside support to a non-BJP Government.
Khaleque, who had first put forwarded the proposition to the public on the second anniversary of the BJP-led Government in the state, said, “There are more than a dozen former general secretaries and presidents of All Assam Students’ Union who are MLAs in the ruling coalition.”
He hinted that these MLAs could be dissatisfied with the bill as they once belonged to AASU, which had led the 6-year movement against foreigners in the state. The agitation had ended with signing of the 1985 Assam Accord which sets midnight of March 24, 1971, as the cut-off date to detect and deport foreigners.
The bill, which seeks to grant citizenship to persons of certain communities from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who entered India till December 31, 2014, is seen as a violation of the Accord. (TTNE)