Guwahati: The Congress on Tuesday wondered why the BJPs manifesto for the Assam assembly election is silent on the issue of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) and claimed that the stand of the saffron party on the controversial Act varies from state to state.
The party in a statement also alleged that Union Home Minister and senior BJP leader Amit Shah sought to deny the existence of those people who lost their lives during the anti-CAA agitation in the state.
“Their (BJP’s) stand on the CAA is ambiguous. In West Bengal, they say they want it. In Tamil Nadu, they do not want it and in Assam they are silent. But Congress has only one stand. We oppose the CAA and will leave no stone unturned to nullify it,” it said.
In the BJP’s manifesto for West Bengal, the party promised to clear the implementation of the CAA in the first cabinet meeting of the new government. The saffron party in Tamil Nadu has allied with the AIADMK which in its manifesto said that it will urge the Centre to scrap the contentious law.
However, in the manifesto released by BJP president JP Nadda for Assam earlier, there is no mention of the CAA.
In the statement, Congress wanted to know the reason behind the omission. Nadda told reporters that the CAA has been passed by Parliament and will be implemented “in time”.
The objective of the CAA is to grant Indian citizenship to people of minority communities Hindu, Sikh, Jain, Buddhist, Parsi and Christian of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, who had come to India till December 31, 2014, due to religious persecution in these countries.
Assam, ruled by a BJP-led coalition, witnessed violent protests against the CAA in 2019 and five persons lost their lives. The protestors saw the law as a threat to their cultural identity and livelihood.
Three rail stations, a post office, a bank, a bus terminus, shops, dozens of vehicles and many other public properties were set ablaze or damaged during the anti-CAA protests.
The statement of the state Congress signed by its media department chairperson Bobbeeta Sharma also condemned Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s assertion in election rallies in the state on Monday that no protests were held in the state during the last five years.
“He wants to simply obliterate the anti-CAA uprising that happened in Assam. He wants to deny the existence of those young boys who lost their lives in police firing. What can be more unfortunate for the people of Assam than this?” the statement read.
The BJP also failed in giving the people of Assam a foolproof National Register of Citizens (NRC) through the party’s governments are there at the Centre and in the state, the Congress said.
The NRC, a database of Indian citizens living in Assam which was updated under the supervision of the Supreme Court and published on August 31, 2019, excluded names of over 19 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants.
Almost all stakeholders and political parties criticised it as a faulty document, alleging exclusion of indigenous people and inclusion of illegal migrants.
“The administration was under them, yet they could not give a proper NRC to people. Their (BJP’s) sincerity in solving the illegal migrants’ issue is questionable. What they could not do in the last five years, what guarantee is there that they will be able to do it in the next five years,” Congress said.
The party also described the BJPs claim that floodwater of the Brahmaputra will be filled in ponds and reservoirs as “outlandish”.
Referring to the BJP’s ‘Mission Brahmaputra’ mentioned in the manifesto, it said what the state government was doing during the last five years as dredging of the river was an ”old promise of the saffron party.