07/01/2019 5:50 PM IST

Asom Gana Parishad Withdraws Support To BJP In Assam Over Citizenship Bill

The decision followed AGP's meeting with Rajnath Singh who said government will ensure the bill's passage in Lok Sabha.

Hindustan Times via Getty Images
A file image of AGP president and state minister Atul Bora.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) on Monday withdrew its support to the ruling BJP in Assam over the Citizenship Amendment Bill, AGP president and minister Atul Bora said.

The bill seeks to amend Citizenship Act, 1955 to grant Indian nationality to people from minority communities — Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsis and Christians — fleeing persecution from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan after six years of residence in India instead of 12.

AGP decided to break their alliance with the BJP after their delegation met Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh in New Delhi, who asserted that the government will ensure its passage in Lok Sabha Tuesday.

“We made a last ditch attempt on Monday to convince the Centre not to pass the Bill. But Singh told us clearly that it will be passed in Lok Sabha on Tuesday. After this, there is no question of remaining in the alliance,” Bora said in New Delhi after meeting the home minister.


The Times of India Bora as saying the AGP had told Singh this bill violated the Assam accord and people of the state did not want it. 

AGP leader and former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahantavhad earlier said in a statement that the party would withdraw support to the government in the state if the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in passed by Lok Sabha.

In the 126-seat Assembly in Assam, BJP has 61 MLAs. Its alliance partners AGP and Bodo People’s Front (BPF) had won 14 and 12 seats respectively. The Indian Express pointed out that there is no threat to the government despite AGP’s withdrawal, as they above the half-way mark.

AGP has three ministers in the state government and they are all expected to resign, The Times of India report stated.

The bill has been opposed by a large section of people and organisations in the Northeast.

The Congress, Trinamool Congress, CPI (M) and a few other parties have been steadfastly opposing the bill claiming that citizenship can’t be given on the basis of religion and that it is unconstitutional.

(With PTI inputs)