BJP's ally AGP to move SC against Citizenship Act

BJP's ally AGP to move SC against Citizenship Act

After drawing much flak for supporting the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, (CAA), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the regional ally of the BJP-led Assam government, on Sunday said that it would move the Supreme Court against the Act.

AGP president and Agriculture Minister Atul Bora told reporters here that a delegation of the party would soon meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah to seek exemption of the Brahmaputra Valley in Assam from the Act's purview.

The party, however, did not clarify that why had they supported the Act in Parliament if they are against it now.

The party will also seek Inner Line Permit System (ILP) in Assam as in place in Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Brahmaputra Valley districts having maximum Assamese population witnessed a massive protest against the bill. 

The Barak Valley districts in South Assam with majority Hindu Bengali population, however, did not see much protest as the Bill seeks to give citizenship to non-Muslim migrants who have settled till December 2014.

Bodoland People's Front (BFP), another regional ally of the government, is also likely to be part of the delegation to meet Modi and Shah.

AGP had walked out of the coalition government in the state in January this year and three of its minister resigned after the Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha.

The party, however, came back to the government just before the Lok Sabha polls as Modi government did not table the Bill in the Rajya Sabha.

AGP, the party which came into being out of the anti-foreigner movement between 1979 and 1985, has faced much criticism for supporting the Bill.

Many describe the party as a "betrayer" after the lone AGP MP in the Rajya Sabha, Birendra Prasad Baishya, voted in favour of the Bill on Wednesday.

"Since the party did not decide to leave the NDA, Baishya voted in favour as per the decision taken in the NDA's meeting," senior AGP leader and Water Resource Minister, Keshab Mahanta, told reporters in Guwahati.

The party is however divided with many leaders including its founder-president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta openly expressing anger over the decision to support the Bill.

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