Assam Elections 2021: After BJP, ally AGP too skirts CAA stance in its manifesto

Assam Elections 2021: After BJP, ally AGP too skirts CAA stance in its manifesto


GUWAHATI: A day after its ally BJP skirted the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) issue in its Assam assembly election manifesto, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) too released its manifesto today without a word on the CAA against which Assam burned a year ago.

The absence of its stance on the CAA has all but established that the regional party that was an offshoot of the historic Assam Agitation, has lost its regional character.

This is the second time the party decided to part ways with the people of Assam. Earlier, the party pledged solidarity with the people and its three ministers had resigned from the Sarbananda Sonowal government when the anti-CAA agitation was at its peak only to resume functioning in their capacities when the protests subsided due to COVID-19 outbreak last year.

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The three ministers concerned are AGP president Atul Bora, working president Keshab Mahanta and senior leader Phani Bhusan Choudhury. All the three preferred to skip the manifesto release today. MP Birendra Prasad Baishya, former MP Dipak Das, former minister Nurul Hussain and few others attended the programme.

The AGP’s manifesto without a party stance on the CAA also endorsed Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi’s statement the other day that the regional party can no longer take any internal decision without the approval of New Delhi. She also said that the BJP has reduced the elephant of AGP to a bheegi billi (wet cat).

The AGP has allied with the BJP in 2016 and this is the second time the regional party is in alliance with the saffron party in the state elections.

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The BJP also preferred to be conspicuous with the absence of its stance on the CAA in its manifesto released yesterday. It has, however, pledged to implement the act in its West Bengal election manifesto.

On the contrary, the Congress-led grand alliance, which includes Bodoland People’s Front and All India United Democratic Front as major constituents, and the third front of Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal have been clear on their anti-CAA stand in their manifestoes.

The AGP manifesto, however, has pledged to implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord to safeguard the indigenous people of the state.

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The AGP has also reiterated that it would press the Centre to detect illegal immigrants on the basis of the Assam Accord and deport them. The AGP that had thrice been in power, including twice under the leadership of Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, could not detect or deport a single migrant in the past.