GUWAHATI: Amidst the country-wide protests against controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), senior Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday categorically said that the spirit of the historic Assam Accord should not be broken.
“There used to be hatred and violence in Assam. Then, people got united and peace returned following the signing of the Assam Accord. The Accord was the need for peace. So, the spirit of the Accord should not be broken. Everyone had accepted the Accord,” Gandhi said at a rally of the Congress in Guwahati.
The CAA violates Clause 5 of the Accord which says, “The illegal immigrants, irrespective of their faith, who came to Assam after March 24, 1971, are to be detected and deported”.
The CAA seeks to grant Indian citizenship to “persecuted” immigrants, belonging to six non-Muslim communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan, who migrated till December 31, 2014.
The Assam Accord was signed between Rajiv Gandhi government and All Assam Students’ Union in 1985 at the end of six-year-long bloody anti-immigrants’ agitation (Assam Agitation).
“The Northeast has its own languages, cultures and history. They (BJP) haven’t recognized it. We will not allow them to attack and trample Assam’s language, culture and history,” Gandhi said.
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“Ahead of elections, I said it a lot of times in Assam that peace, brotherhood and progress in the state will end if the BJP is voted to power. I feel sad to repeat it, for what I had said has turned out to be true,” the Congress leader added.
He slammed the Narendra Modi government on issues such as black money, demonetisation, precarious economy, growing unemployment etc and for cozying up to 15-20 industrialists.