Guwahati, Feb 5 : The Opposition parties came together in the Assam Assembly today, demanding discussion on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, with the main Opposition party Congress urging for a special sitting of the House to take up the issue before end of the ongoing Parliament session.
The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which had quit the BJP-led coalition government in the state last month in protest against the CAB, was the first to move the Speaker, demanding urgent discussion on a resolution submitted by the party on the Bill.
Phani Bhusan Choudhury, who was among the AGP ministers who resigned last month, said if pending resolutions are taken up earlier, the resolution on the CAB would be delayed.
Another AGP legislator who had quit along with Choudhury, Keshab Mahanta, pointed that the Parliament session will end on February 13 and bills will be taken up on February 11-12, and hence, it was necessary for the Assam Assembly to 'pass an unanimous resolution' on the Bill prior to it.
Supporting the AGP, Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque said the ongoing Parliament session is the last of the present Central government, and it was necessary to discuss the Bill in the state Assembly before the Parliament session ends.
Echoing similar sentiments, AIUDF legislator Aminul Islam said, "If the Assam Assembly cannot give it's stance on the CAB before the Parliament concludes, it will hold no good."
Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia of Congress urged the Speaker to convene a special sitting of the House prior to end of Parliament session to discuss the CAB.
"To expedite passing of pending resolutions, the Congress will refrain from taking part in any of the further discussions on the pending resolutions," Saikia added.
The AGP also said it will not speak during discussion on the pending resolutions to speed up the process of listing of the resolution on CAB for discussion.
Parliamentary Affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary, presenting the government's stance, said the government was ready to discuss the resolution on the CAB.
He said, "The government is ready to clarify it's stand and place it in the House."
Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami said he will discuss the matter of listing the resolution on CAB for discussion with all parties tomorrow.
Assam has been witnessing mass agitations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, with students, youth and civil society organizations taking the lead and supported by a section of political parties.
The protests are against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2019, which seeks to grant Indian nationality to Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Christians, Buddhists and Jains from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after seven years of residence in India.
The Lok Sabha passed the Bill through a voice vote on January 8, but it is pending in the Rajya Sabha. (UNI)