Guwahati: Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi addressed a rally in the city of Guwahati on Saturday in a series of rallies to capture the North Eastern states – amid protests over the highly controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 said aid in Assam that there is no room for "intruders" in the state as well as the country. He said that he and his government are fully committed to safeguarding the rights and interests of the people of the region.
Defending the Bill, PM Modi said we must "understand the pain of people forced to flee their homes and leave behind all they own".
"Those who sit in AC rooms in Delhi, who fight us (BJP) in the parliament, are spreading misinformation and confusion about this Bill. But the BJP is committed to protecting the culture and resources of Assam and the northeast. The Clause 6, which is the soul of Assam Accord, has remained unimplemented for the last 35 years and our government will implement it in letter and spirit as soon as possible," he said.
Hitting out at the Opposition, PM Modi said, “A confusion is being created over the citizenship bill. You need to beware of the intention of those doing so...They are all ‘mahamilawati’ (highly adulterated) parties.”
Clause 6 of the accord suggests constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social and linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people. It looks at giving constitutional safeguards to indigenous Assamese people against alleged illegal migrants from Bangladesh.
The Prime Minister promised that a committee formed by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) will ensure successful implementation of Clause 6 in the state which hasn’t been worked out in the years after the declaration of the Assam Accord.
“It must be understood that there is a difference between those who forcefully entered the country and those who were forced to flee their homes to save their lives due to their faith. Both are not the same", he said.
"We have committed to provide shelter to those who are minorities in neighbouring countries and had to leave everything due to the atrocities inflicted on them. They have come to our country and embraced the idea and ethos of Mother India," he said.
Then to allay the fears expressed by those protesting this Bill, he said, “Citizenship to the migrants will be given only after proper verification. It will not be done without the recommendation of the state government,” he said.
On Saturday morning, PM Modi was shown black flags for the second consecutive day over the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Various groups including the All Assam Students Union (AASU), the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuva Chhatra Parishad (AJYCP) and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) have been opposing the citizenship bill for a long time.
PM Modi also attacked Congress for ignoring real ‘ratnas’ of India. “I pay my tributes to Dr Bhupen Hazarika. He raised his voice for the deprived and the poor,” said PM Modi.
While repeating his BC and AD jibe, PM Modi said, “I want to ask Congress, why did they fail to confer Bharat Ratnas to those who really deserved it? Why did they ignore real ratnas of India?”
His remarks came close on the heels of Bhupen Hazarika being conferred Bharat Ratna posthumously.
“In the recent budget, we increased the budget by more than 21 per cent for the North East. This shows our commitment to the North East. In the last four-and-half years, projects worth Rs 14,000 crore have been completed in the oil and gas sector alone in Assam,” he further added.
The prime minister then went on to say that the opposition is abusing him as the government has launched a drive against corruption. “Those who had fled the country after committing corruption are being brought back and made to face justice,” he said.
The prime minister also said the BJP government was committed to make Assam the oil and gas hub of the country and in the last four years projects worth Rs 14,000 crore have been completed.
(With agency inputs)