AGP betrayed people of Assam by realigning with BJP: Congress

Guwahati, Mar 13 (PTI) Leader of opposition in the Assam Assembly Debabrata Saikia Wednesday said the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has betrayed the people of the state by realigning with the BJP, which had sought the passage of the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in Parliament.
The AGP has “shamelessly” joined hands with the saffron party, knowing well that the Bill will be enacted if the BJP retains power at the Centre, the senior Congress leader asserted.
In January, the regional party had withdrawn its support to the BJP government in Assam in protest against the Centre’s decision to go ahead with the bill, which seeks to grant nationality to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan after six years of residence in India.
“The lure of power has prevailed over the responsibilities of the regional party. By joining hands with the BJP once again, the AGP betrayed the people of Assam,” Saikia said, hours after the two parties announced that they would the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls together.
The bill, if enacted, will nullify the Assam Accord, which was also signed by leaders of the AGP, but the party is “not bothered about such crucial factors”, he told reporters.
“In my opinion, this is the most repulsive instance of opportunism and hypocrisy in politics,” he added.
The Congress, on the other hand, has stayed true to the interests of the people of Assam by playing a pivotal role in thwarting the bill in the Rajya Sabha and, thereby, safeguarding the interests and sentiments of the people of Assam and the northeast, Saikia claimed.
“Certain vested interests are striving to portray our party as a silent spectator of the citizenship bill imbroglio, but the fact remains that it was the Congress which mounted an uncompromising opposition to the legislation, in keeping with the sentiments of the people of Assam,” he maintained.
The party has foiled the BJP’s designs to “foist” the bill on Assam and the northeast during the recently concluded Budget Session of the Parliament, he said.
“I am confident that the people of Assam will give a befitting reply to the unholy alliance cobbled of the cynical BJP and the spineless AGP,” Saikia added.
Earlier in the day, the Assam Pradesh Congress Committee had taken to Twitter to criticize what it called the “sinister nexus” between the two parties.
“The sinister nexus of BJP, AGP & BPF are back again.
The drama of AGP to leave BJP alliance and stand with the people of Assam stands exposed. AGP dancing on the tune of Nagpur for their power hunger. The people of Assam must teach these traitors a lesson in coming election,” the party tweeted. PTI