Exclusive: Congress ready for alternative government led by CM Sonowal

CM and Saikia


Congress ready for alternative government led by CM Sonowal

In an immensely surprising and unbelievable turn of events, Assam Pradesh Congress urged chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal to take the lead and form an alternative government in order to “honour the Assam Accord” and also for the “greater interest of the people of Assam”.

Leader of the opposition, Debabrata Saikia said in a press meet, “Sonowal is termed as ‘Jatiya Nayak’ or National Hero. It’s high time and he should live up to the expectations of the common man and also upheld the title given by the people of Assam. It was Sonowal who took the lead to get the Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal) (IMDT) Act scrapped by the Supreme Court for the benefit of Assam.”

He added, “If he (Sonowal) leaves the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government and forms an alternative government, taking together all the people who are demanding the withdrawal of the Bill, Assam Congress will lend their unconditional support to Sonowal. And we also ask Assam Accord leader Prafulla Kumar Mahanta to do the same.”

The title of ‘Jatiya Nayak’ was bestowed upon Sonowal by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) in 2005 after the IMDT Act was struck down by the apex Court in the Sarbananda Sonowal vs Union of India case. The IMDT Act was enacted by the Indira Gandhi government is 1983.

The Indira Gandhi government had enacted the IMDT Act in 1983. The Act made it difficult to deport illegal immigrants from Assam. It was applicable to the state of Assam only whereas in other states, detection of foreigners is done under The Foreigners Act, 1946. Under the IMDT Act, the burden of proving the Citizenship or otherwise rested on the accuser and the police, not the accused. This was a major departure from the provisions of the Foreigners Act, 1946.

Saikia also stated that “safeguarding the interests of the indigenous people” is the main agenda and if the Bill becomes an Act, Assam will have no importance for which people of Assam agitated for six-long years.

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