GUWAHATI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s scheduled visit to Assam on January 10 has been cancelled, ostensibly due to the ongoing protests in the state against Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).
The state’s ruling BJP confirmed this but did not cite any reason. Modi was scheduled to inaugurate “Khelo India” games.
“He (PM) was approached. He was scheduled to come but the visit now has been cancelled,” Assam BJP spokesman Dewan Dhruba Jyoti Maral told this newspaper without going into details.
Earlier, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) had warned that Modi would face protests if he visits the state to inaugurate Khelo India which will be held in Guwahati.
“We have nothing against Khelo India. But if the PM comes, there will be protests,” chief advisor to AASU, Samujjal Bhattacharya, had said recently.
The protests, being spearheaded by the AASU, are against the CAA which will grant Indian citizenship to “persecuted” immigrants, belonging to six non-Muslim communities from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan who migrated till December 31, 2014.
During the abandoned India-Sri Lanka first T20 cricket match in the city on January 5, a protest against the CAA was staged by the crowd.
Various organisations, including the AASU, say the CAA violates the Assam Accord of 1985. Clause 5 of the Accord says the illegal immigrants, irrespective of their faith who migrated to Assam after March 24, 1971, are to be detected and deported.
The protestors say the CAA is a blanket invitation to the illegal Bangladeshi immigrants to come and settle down in Assam and as such, it poses a grave threat to the land, language and culture of the locals.