No Protests during Amendment of Citizenship Act in '92: Himanta Biswa Sarma in Presence of Former AASU President Sarbananda Sonowal

No Protests during Amendment of Citizenship Act in '92: Himanta Biswa Sarma in Presence of Former AASU President Sarbananda Sonowal


Guwahati, January 6, 2019:

Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on January 6, in a gathering of BJP and other elected representatives, stated that the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) had not dared to protest against the Government policies in 1992, back when Congress leader Hiteshwar Saikia was the Chief Minister.

Biswa Sarma, taking digs at the student body amid protests against the amendment of the Citizenship Act, had said, "They feared to protest during the Congress regime. Sonowal was an AASU, he would love us, they thought. It is easy to protest during the Sonowal regime, but difficult during the Tarun Gogoi and Prafulla Mahanta regimes, as Prafulla Mahanta does secret killings."

"In 1992, the citizenship law was again amended -- it was said, Bangladeshi children will not be Indians. However, if one of the parents is an Indian, the child will be Indian", Biswa Sarma said, taking further jibes at the AASU for not protesting during an earlier amendment of the Citizenship Act out of "cowardice."

However, Sarma's comment is ironic because, in 1992, the current Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal, had been appointed the President of the AASU. Sonowal would eventually earn the title of 'jatiya nayak' (national hero) from the AASU for the scrapping of the The Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal ) (IMDT) Act.

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Sonowal too has not been spared by the current AASU leadership, who have launched scathing attacks on the CM for his allegedly duplicitous nature. The AASU General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi, who has been the most vocal during the anti-CAA protests held across all Assam districts, has even mocked that Sonowal should be conferred an Oscar for his apparently effortless transition across all political parties and platforms.

Meanwhile, the AASU, along with artistes and organizations has also announced its intention to form a political front to tackle the saffron party in 2021 elections in Assam. However, Himanta Biswa Sarma has also issued a warning to the yet-to-be-formed party under AASU leadership. "Somebody might love the C(A)B, somebody might hate it. That is bound to happen in a democratic set-up. People have every right to do that, and we respect that. We have no objection to the democratic protests carried out by the student union. However, if someone hopes to become the CM..if someone dreams of floating a party, we will answer them in the political arena", the Minister had said at the same rally.

At the same time, the Congress party is also daring the BJP party to hold elections right away, with the former CM Tarun Gogoi claiming that the BJP will be lucky to win 25 seats.

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