Guwahati : The year 2018 was full of political drama in Assam confusing people as what is right or what is wrong. Ranging from numerous strikes, protests and alarming violent incidents that rocked the state in the entire year of 2018.
The year started with massive protests against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 across the state. The year ended with another shocker for the agitating bodies when all the opposition-sponsored amendments in the Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) of the proposed controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 were defeated on December 31, 2018.
Political drama in Assam throughout 2018
The JPC, headed by BJP MP Rajendra Agrawal, will finalise the draft in the next meeting which is scheduled to be held on January 3. In all likelihood, the JPC will submit its report in Parliament on January 7 in its original form as the winter session is coming to an end on January 8.
The AGP, though, have reiterated its strong opposition to the Bill saying it would break the coalition if the Bill is passed by the Parliament, seemed incapable of fulfilling its promises made before the 2014 Assembly election to work for the greater interest of the indigenous people of the state.’
Moreover, prominent intellectuals of the state including Dr Hiren Gohain also opposed the Bill.
It may be recalled that the ULFA-I’s ‘commander-in-chief’ Paresh Baruah had also urged the Government of India to withdraw the Bill immediately.
Assam remained confused throughout 2018 due to excessive political drama
On the other hand, BJP’s Hojai legislator and controversies favourite child, Shiladitya Dev made various ‘provocative’ statements on the Bill issue for which most of the political parties and organizations demanded his arrest.
Another issue of the year 2018 that created an air of uncertainty was the updation exercise of the National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Political drama throughout 2018
BJP’s national president Amit Shah’s inconspicuous statement over the NRC issue that the historic Assam Accord was the ‘soul’ of the NRC created uproar among the people of the state.
The Congress and BJP also got engaged in the credit-claiming race on the NRC issue. While the Congress claimed the ‘NRC was its baby’; the saffron party slammed the Congress for doing nothing on the illegal immigrants issue.
A total of 40,07,707 names were excluded in the final draft of the NRC which was published on July 30 last year.
Abhijit Sharma, general secretary, Assam Public Works, shared that the whole episode on the NRC throughout the year indicates a dire consequence to be faced by the people of the state.
The upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha elections will be a crucial stage. Moreover, BJP’s dismal performance in the recently declared assembly elections – Mizoram, Telengana, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Rajasthan – is considered as a major concern ahead of the general election though the party refutes any impact of the results on the people.