BJP avoids 'CAA' in Assam election manifesto after Amit Shah's promise in Bengal

BJP avoids 'CAA' in Assam election manifesto after Amit Shah's promise in Bengal

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GUWAHATI: The contentious Citizenship Amendment Act did not find any mention in the Assam election manifesto that was released by party national president Jagat Prakash Nadda at a city hotel today.

Notably, the saffron party had made the CAA one of its key pre-election promises in West Bengal ahead of the election.

Unveiling the manifesto, called “Sonar Bangla Sankalpa Patra”, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said, “We have decided that we will implement the CAA in the first Cabinet meeting itself, besides approving the Ayushman Bharat and PM-Kisan for the benefit of the poor.”

In Assam, however, the BJP leader Nadda refrained from making any comments about the contentious Act while releasing the manifesto, which mainly focused on 'developmental' aspects.

Asked why he had not made any mention of the Act during his speech, Nadda said, "I have said earlier also that the CAA has been passed by the Parliament. It is to be implemented and it will be implemented."

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Asked about the BJP's promise to enact Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, Nadda said that the party "stands committed" to do the same.

The Clause 6 of the Accord, signed in August 1985 to end a bloody, six-year agitation for ejecting “illegal immigrants”, seeks to guarantee constitutional safeguards for the Assamese and other indigenous communities.

Although a high-level committee on Assam Accord’s Clause 6, headed by Justice (retd) Biplab Sharma, had submitted its report to Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on February 25, 2020, it is said to be gathering dust in the chief minister's office.

Although the CAA rocked Assam after its passage in both Houses of the Parliament, the BJP party has been skirting around the issue ahead of the Assam elections despite whirlwind electioneering.

Assam state BJP chief Ranjeet Kumar Dass said that the party will soon implement the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA).

Dass recently revealed that the BJP leaders are keeping a distance from the issue of CAA, as after its approval from Parliament, Assam witnessed a wave of protests.

Stating that the party still “stands by it”, he said if voted back to power, the CAA will be implemented as “there is no question of going back.”

The 2021 Assam Legislative Assembly election is the 15th quinquennial legislative assembly election scheduled to be held in Assam from March 27 to April 6 in three phases, to elect 126 MLAs to the 15th Assam Legislative Assembly.

Edited By: Rana Pratap Saikia
Published On: Mar 23, 2021