DUDHONI: Assam Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma Wednesday said not passing the Citizenship Bill in Rajya Sabha is a defeat for Assam and claimed without it 17 assembly seats in the state will go to Bangladeshi Muslims.
Sarma, who is also the convenor of North East Democratic Alliance, said his party is committed to the Bill and it will fight the elections with this resolution.
The Bill lapsed on Wednesday with the Rajya Sabha being adjourned sine die on the last day of the Budget session, the last parliamentary session before the Lok Sabha polls.
It was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8. "I think not passing the Bill in Rajya Sabha is a defeat for Assam. Without the Bill, 17 (assembly) constituencies will go to Bangladeshi Muslims," he told reporters.
"Who will save the (Assamese) community?" Sarma added. The NDA does not have majority in the Rajya Sabha so it could not introduce the document.
But it will bring in the legislation again once the BJP-led alliance gets majority, he said.
"My party supports the Bill. BJP is committed and will be committed to it forever. BJP will fight (the elections) with this commitment," Sarma said.