GUWAHATI: A BJP MLA in Assam, who is in the eye of a storm for publicly advocating citizenship to the Bangladeshi Hindu immigrants, has threatened to quit if action against a leader of the pro-talks faction of rebel group United Liberation Front of Assam (ULFA), who made an alleged inflammatory comment against Bengalis, was not taken by the state government.
"What (ULFA pro-talks faction leader) Mrinal Hazarika said was unfortunate. I want the government to take action against him or else I will resign," Dev told reporters in Guwahati on Friday.
In the wake of growing public outrage in the state following the Centre's move to pass the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 which seeks to grant citizenship to the non-Muslim immigrants of Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who migrated to India till December 31, 2014, and the bid by 27 Bengali Hindu organisations to organise a conclave in Guwahati in support of the Bill, Hazarika said the Bill should not be allowed to be passed in Parliament.
"If that doesn't happen, we must go back to the days of Assam Agitation (of early 1980s). If need be, their (Bengalis') houses should be raided. We should create a situation like 1983," Hazarika had said. Hundreds of lives were lost during the six-year-long Assam Agitation.
Condemning Hazarika's statement, Dev asked if the ULFA leader was seeking a fresh carnage in Assam. He sniffed that a conspiracy was at work to trigger a communal flare-up between the Assamese and the Bengalis.
Meanwhile, Union Minister of State for Railways, Rajen Gohain, has thrown his weight behind Dev. Gohain said people, who were opposed to the Citizenship Bill, wanted to turn Assam into an 'Islamic state'. He said what Dev had been saying about the Bill was true.