Home minister may start process with AASU talks.
Guwahati: The Union home ministry plans to hold a dialogue with the organisations behind the agitation against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in a bid to create a consensus. The dates for the meetings are, however, yet to be finalised.
Saying the MHA is of the view that ongoing agitation has failed to mobilise people at the grassroots level, security sources said they don’t want to allow it to continue for much longer. Admitting that ongoing protest in urban areas, particularly in Guwahati, had vitiated the atmosphere, the sources said that Union home minister Rajnath Singh would hold direct talks with the agitating groups to ascertain their concerns.
Indicating that the issue could be resolved through a dialogue, the sources said: “The government is keen to know the concerns of the agitating organisations so that the issues can be resolved through dialogues.”
Saying the home minister would also try to spell out the government’s policies clearly so that misgivings in the minds of people could be resolved, the sources said the home minister would also spell out the complete provisions of granting citizenship to an individual after the amendment of the citizenship law.
It is significant that Mr Rajnath Singh spoke to All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya over the phone on January 18 on the issue. But the AASU leader categorically told the minister that the students’ body would not accept the new bill. He also told the minister that AASU will never allow any dilution of the Assam Accord, under which all foreigners who entered Assam illegally after midnight of March 24, 1971 should be detected and deported.
Indicating that AASU could be the first outfit to be called for a discussion, the sources said the ministry is worried over the delay in formation of the committee to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
Clarifying that the Centre had decided to go ahead with the citizenship law amendment and the chances of scrapping the bill were very bleak, the sources said the government was hopeful of diverting immigrants to other states by offering incentives to people from the minority communities in Bangladesh who entered Assam to settle elsewhere in the country.
Saying that a misinformation campaign by a section of people had created a lot of confusion about the proposed amendment in Assam, the sources said the proposed amendment would open a channel for the first time to help immigrants from Bangladesh to seek settlement outside the state.