Guwahati: In what can be considered as a big blow to Congress in Assam, Nine Congress MLAs from Assam met BJP President Amit Shah in New Delhi on Saturday with an intention to join BJP.
The nine MLAs belong to the camp of Congress rebel Himanta Biswa Sarma along with Dipen Pathak, an MLA from Trinamool Congress will be formally joining BJP later this month in Guwahati, according to The Tribune.
The nine Congress MLAs are- Pijush Hazarika, Jayanta Malla Baruah, Palab Lochan Das, Pradan Barua, Rajen Borthakur, Bolin Chetia, Binanda Saikia, Kripanath Mallah, and Abu Taher Bepari.
BJP President Amit Shah on Sunday said that the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was “very necessary” and added that the government was working on building a consensus with stakeholders in the northeast.
Addressing the media here, Amit Shah also said that the government had brought the bill after much thought and Home Minister Rajnath Singh was holding consultations with various people to address the opposition to the issue.
“There are two sides of a coin. There are decisions that some like and some don’t… The fate of huge number of refugees can’t be kept hanging in the balance and we are firm on it,” he said.
Asked what would be the BJP’s stand if suggestions come to withdraw the Bill as it has created unrest in the entire northeast, Amit Shah said: “Home Minister is holding discussions with political parties. Discussion with some parties have already taken place. If consensus emerges, we will definitely move ahead but the Citizenship Bill is highly necessary for the country.”
The Bill seeks to grant Indian citizenship to Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan who entered India before December 31, 2014.
Political parties and civic groups in the northeast say if this is implemented, “outsiders” will overwhelm the local population.
The BJP President was also committed to build a grand Ram temple in Ayodhya.