The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), a key ally of the ruling BJP in northeast, has taken a u-turn on the Citizenship Act, days after supporting it in Parliament. The AGP will now move the Supreme Court against the Citizenship Act, that seeks to grant Indian citizenship to illegal non-Muslim migrants from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan. The changes in their stand was announced by the AGP on Saturday after a key meeting of senior party leaders.
The AGP is a key ally of the BJP-led Assam government headed by Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and has three ministers in the state cabinet. The party has also decided to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi over the controversial act that led to instability in northeastern states.
Following the violent protests across Assam, several state BJP leaders have also quit the party to oppose the amended Citizenship Act. Senior BJP leader Jagadish Bhuyan and Assamese superstar Jatin Bora have resigned from the BJP over the act.
"I don't accept CAB. My identity of Jatin Bora is because of the people of Assam and I am with them on this issue," Bora, who had joined the BJP in 2014, said.
The controversial act has triggered a wave of violent protests in several states, including Assam, Tripura, Meghalaya and West Bengal. While protests are being held in most parts of the country, they are more visible and violent in north-eastern states.
People in northeastern states claim they will be 'overrun' by migrants from Bangladesh. Thousands of troops have been deployed and at least two protesters were shot dead by police in Guwahati.
Internet and SMS services in Assam have been suspended with a curfew in Guwahati and Shilong. Opposition parties across India say the bill is discriminatory and violates the Constitutional ethos. Congress President Sonia Gandhi says the Bill will destroy the soul of India.