The All Assam Students Union (AASU), which is spearheading the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act protests,on Sunday hinted at launching a political party along with ‘Shilpi Samaj’ (artists’ forum) as an alternative to the ruling BJP and AGP as well as to opposition Congress.
AASU president Dipanka Nath seconded popular singer Zubeen Garg, who while addressing a protest meet said, “we will launch our own party”, Nath replied, “we are now thinking in that direction”.
“We are in talks with Silpi Samaj (artists’ forum) and also discussing with people of Assam to think about an alternative. With your (people’s) permission, we will not hesitate one bit to go in that direction (of launching a political party).”
“AASU will remain apolitical. But, in the interest of the people, along with Silpi Samaj we are ready to go in that direction,” Nath said to loud cheers from thousands of people at the event.
Lashing out at the state government, the AASU president said, “They have unleashed their oppressive machinery on people killing five minor students and injuring many others with bullets. It is clear that the Sarbananda Sonowal government will be brought down.”
The AASU president accused AGP of “betraying” the people of the state and said the Congress was also “equally bad”.
Earlier, AASU on Friday called a three-day mass satyagraha in all district headquarters of the state from December 16.
Announcing the fresh agitation programme from December 16, AASU Chief Adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya coined the slogan “Repeal Citizenship Amendment Act or arrest me”.
Bhattacharya said padyatra and protest meetings would be organised across the state and posters would put up against the controversial law.
“Everybody will join the movement. Women will blow the conchshell demanding the withdrawal of the Act,” he said.
President Ram Nath Kovind, in a late Thursday night order, gave his assent to The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, letting it become an Act allowing Indian citizenship to six non-Muslim minority migrants facing religious persecution in Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
According to the Act, members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan, till December 31, 2014, facing religious persecution there, will not be treated as illegal immigrants but given Indian citizenship.
The passing of the Citizenship Bill in the Parliament has plunged the northeast, especially the states of Assam, Tripura and Meghalaya into deep chaos with locals and students hitting the streets in thousands in protest.
The indigenous people of the northeastern states are worried that the entry of these people will endanger their identity and livelihood.
Meanwhile, sfter supporting BJP over the contentious CAA, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a key party ally in Assam has now decided to oppose it. The AGP announced its decision on Saturday after a meeting of the senior party leaders. The party will approach the Supreme Court against the CAA, according to media reports.