GUWAHATI: Assam Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami on Thursday said doubts expressed over the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill are not baseless, and there is a strong possibility of it creating division if implemented.
In a statement, Goswami appealed to the Central government to take necessary steps to redress the anger and grievances of the people of Assam.
"After the passage of the bill by the Rajya Sabha yesterday, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill has become an act. Though I should not comment on the Act as I am discharging Constitutional duties as Speaker, but as a person working for the nation and community through the Assam agitation, I feel that the doubt created by this act is not baseless," he said.
"There is a strong possibility of creating division among different castes, communities and languages if this act is implemented," he said.
Goswami said after the Lok Sabha approved the earlier version of the bill in January, he had said that as a neutral citizen of the state, his conscience would not support any step threatening Assam's unity and integrity.
"I still have that stand and it will remain in future too. Along with my Constitutional responsibilities as a Speaker, I am also committed to the all-round development of my constituency. But, I cannot be above the public even if I am the Speaker.
"I appeal to the Central government to take necessary steps to redress the anger and grievances of the people of Assam and particularly the younger generation of the state," said Goswami, who is a BJP MLA.
He also appealed to the people of Assam to give importance in maintaining peace and tranquility.
"I have learnt a lot during the last 30 years of my active participation in politics and I respect the thoughts and ideas of the younger generation," the Speaker added.