In a move to consolidate resistance against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) in Assam, Opposition MLA Akhil Gogoi, president of the regional Raijor Dal, issued a fervent appeal for unity among various political factions.
This reportedly comes in response to Union Home Minister Amit Shah’s declaration that the controversial CAA would be implemented prior to the Lok Sabha polls.
Gogoi, who emerged victorious in the 2021 Assembly elections from jail, released a 2.20-minute video on Saturday, emphasizing the need for collective opposition to what he termed an “undemocratic, unconstitutional” law, as reported.
He also called upon regional organizations, left-wing groups, and political parties in Assam to join forces against the CAA, which he argued was detrimental to the region’s interests.
Notably, The CAA, passed by Parliament in 2019, expedites Indian citizenship for persecuted non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Afghanistan who entered India before December 31, 2014.
In Assam, widespread protests erupted, with a significant portion of the population contending that the law posed a threat to the state’s culture, identity, and language by potentially allowing an influx from Bangladesh, as per reports.
Akhil Gogoi, previously embroiled in two cases under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA), was acquitted in June 2021. One of the cases was reportedly linked to a protest against the CAA in Chabua, Assam.
Responding to the growing opposition, Union Home Minister Amit Shah had asserted on Saturday that the CAA was a national law and would be implemented before the upcoming Lok Sabha polls.
Adding to it, Shah dismissed concerns that the CAA could strip anyone of citizenship, emphasizing that the law contained no provision for such actions.
Mentions must be made that opposition in the Northeast, including Assam, revolves around the objection to granting citizenship based on religion, unlike other parts of the country where focus primarily centered on the exclusion of Muslims.