The Assam Food and Civil Supplies Minister Phani Bhushan Choudhury, while talking about the party’s stand on the newly enacted Citizenship Amendment Act, on January 8th, 2020, said that the party has never changed its stand on the act.
Speaking to the media persons, the minister said, “The party’s stand on the act is still the same. The party has filed a petition before the Supreme Court in the act issue. We are waiting till the next hearing on January 22nd, 2020.”
Launching a scathing attack at the former Assam Chief Minister and the founder of the party Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, Choudhury said, “It is unfortunate that Mahanta does not know the stand of the party.”
Besides, the minister slammed Mahanta for doing nothing to implement the historic Assam Accord signed in 1985 in letter and spirit. He questioned, “Why did Mahanta do nothing for the implementation of Clause 6 of the Accord during his tenure as the Chief Minister of the state?”
Reacting to the rift in the party, he said, “A faction of workers is involved in anti-party activities for which the Guwahati committee has been dissolved.”
The Guwahati committee of the party has been dissolved in a meeting chaired by party president Atul Bora on January 7th, 2020. The party leadership decided to dissolve the committee for going against the party leaders on the Citizenship Act issue. The meeting also decided to form a new committee.
Meanwhile, Mahanta, in a different meeting on the same day, urged the party workers to oppose the act. He also asked the party workers, who support the act, to join the BJP.
Cracks in the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), the ally of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party in the state, has come to the fore when Mahanta found the party head office locked on January 7th, 2020. Later, he had to shift the venue for the meeting on the Citizenship Act.
The division came in the party regarding the newly enacted act. While a faction of the party workers, who oppose the act, have demanded the removal of the several top leaders; the other faction supported the act.
Mahanta, the founder president of the party, who vehemently opposed the act, urged the party workers to fight against the legislation as “it violates the Assam Accord” signed in 1985 after a six-year agitation against illegal immigrants.