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Amid CAB protests, BJP cites data to allay concerns

Sonowal urged grassroots leaders of the party to speak out against “misinformation” spread by leaders of various organisations against the Bill.

Written by Abhishek Saha | Guwahati | Updated: December 11, 2019 8:43:51 am
Citizenship Amendment Bill 2019, CAB, Sarbananda Sonowal, assam CAB protests, Citizenship bill in Parliament, amit shah on illegal immigrants, muslims in citizenship bill, citizenship bill NRC, Indian express Assam’s Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal. (Express Photo by Vignesh Krishnamoorthy/File)

The BJP-led government in Assam and the state party unit have resorted to presenting data to claim that the number of non-Muslim migrants eligible for citizenship through provisions of Citizenship (Amendment) Bill will be less and the move will not create any problem for the indigenous population.

Speaking at a meeting of the BJP’s mandal and zila unit presidents on Monday, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said, “As of today, according to the data in our hand, it won’t be more than 5 lakh, it will be less than 5 lakh. In no way will our community, land, hearth, heritage, culture, existence be in danger.”

Sonowal urged grassroots leaders of the party to speak out against “misinformation” spread by leaders of various organisations against the Bill.

State party president Ranjeet Dass told reporters that in the district of Majuli not more than 300 people would be eligible for application for citizenship through CAB, while in Nalbari and Charaideo he placed it at 1000-odd persons each. In Barpeta, Dass said around 24,000 people would be eligible for application while in Baksa it would be 28,000-odd. In the state’s Bengali majority Barak valley, Dass said a total of 1.3 lakh people would be eligible.

“An impression is tried to be given to people that lakhs and lakhs of people will come into Assam following the Bill but that is a lie. Three hundred people in Majuli or 1,000 people in Nalbari cannot affect the culture, language and heritage of these place by even one inch,” Dass said.

At the BJP meet and his media interaction, state Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma spoke of 5 lakh-odd Bengali Hindus being left out of the NRC in Assam and said that those among them who seek citizenship can benefit from CAB.

“Through CAB a maximum of 5.04 lakh people can apply. This is the maximum I am saying, many will not apply. Maximum, there is a possibility of 3-4 lakh people getting citizenship through CAB. People have to apply, and after the consideration of the application they will get citizenship,” Sarma said.

Nagaland extends ILP to Dimapur

Guwahati: The Nagaland government Tuesday extended the Inner Line Permit regime to Dimapur, the state’s only district left out of the system, in effect extending the exemption from the provisions of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill to the entire state.

Nagaland Chief Secretary Temjen Toy confirmed the development. In an order issued on November 9, the state government said, “Every non-indigenous person henceforth entering the area of district of Dimapur… shall be required to obtain an ILP in the same mode and manner as presently required for entering the Inner Line Permit area of Nagaland…” —ENS

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