Congress and AIUDF legislators shouted slogans and protested against Citizenship (Amendment) Act during the one-day special session of the Assam Assembly on Monday.
The Constitution (126th Amendment) Bill, 2019, extending reservations to SC/STs in the legislature by another 10 years, was unanimously ratified during the session, which was held to pass a resolution ratifying the Bill cleared by Parliament.
The Opposition MLAs resorted to intense sloganeering against the CAA when Governor Jagdish Mukhi addressed the Assembly. They held placards, condemned the action against agitators and staged a demonstration. While Congress legislators boycotted a tea and snacks gathering at the Assembly, AIUDF MLAs staged a sit-in demonstration outside the House demanding repeal of CAA.
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma told the Assembly that the number of people eligible for gaining citizenship through the CAA in Assam will not be more than 5 lakh at any cost and 5 lakh Bengali-speaking Hindus will in no way “destroy” the Assamese language.
Sarma, the BJP’s key leader in the Northeast, said, “The theory that Bengali Hindus will destroy our language is wrong. Assam’s future will never be ruined by 5 lakh Bengali-speaking Hindus. From who there is a threat of destruction, Assamese people… Assamese people realise that. In the course of time, I won’t be there, but after 30 years my son will say that his father said it right.”
Sarma said the rules for implementation of the CAA are yet to be formulated. He also questioned the Assam Accord, saying that it left several issues “unresolved” and that the NRC in Assam was not mentioned in the Accord.
Addressing the media, former CM and Congress leader Tarun Gogoi said, “Why are protests happening everywhere, who is responsible? This government is a murderous government. They have killed people [protesting against the CAA]. CAA is violating the Assam Accord and everyone is protesting against that; not only political parties, but everyone… is out on the streets. But even in such a situation, instead of respecting people’s sentiments and demands, they have snubbed the people, insulted the people…”