If a new political party is formed under the leadership of the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), the BJP will contest polls against it with courage and defeat it, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said on Saturday.
Sarma’s remarks come days after the AASU leadership talked about a new political alternative to take the anti-CAA movement forward in the state. Massive protests continued across Assam against the CAA on Saturday with large gatherings at several locations, including Duliajan, Dhekiajuli, and Dharapur.
The gatherings saw the participation of student and youth leaders, and cultural demonstrations by different artistes against the contentious law.
“Whether the Congress supports the new party or not but just like Arjun looked only at the bird’s eye while shooting the arrow, we will only look at the seats to win, irrespective of who the opponent is. With people’s blessings, we will win with 100 seats,” Sarma said.
Sarma said that the beneficiaries of CAA will be less than 5 lakh in Assam. “After the rules are framed, those who have been saying 1 crore people [will get citizenship through CAA in Assam] will have to apologise to the people of Assam,” he said.
Sarma ruled out the need for applicants to give proof of “religious persecution”. “What proof do you need for religious persecution? Do they have to show photos of wounds they suffered on their back,” the minister asked.
Sarma’s remarks come a day after he told the media that the applicants will have to submit “three proofs” – of their religion, of their entry to India before 2014 and documents showing their citizenship prior to entering India. The minister said that the Assam government has suggested to the Centre to also include evidence that the applicant had applied for inclusion in the NRC.
Meanwhile, the BJP-led government in Assam inducted two new ministers of state with independent charge — Jogen Mohan and Sanjoy Kishan. Mohan is from Mahmora assembly constituency while Kishan is the MLA from Tinsukia. “We will work together with the spirit of #TeamAssam and take our state to greater heights of progress and development,” Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal tweeted.
BJP chief re-elected
Ranjeet Dass, the incumbent state unit BJP president, was re-elected to the position on Saturday. Under the leadership of the Sorbhog MLA, the party had swept panchayat and Lok Sabha elections in the state.
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