‘No illegal immigrant can settle in Assam’: Sarbananda Sonowal says CAA will not affect state’s indigenous population

  • Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said that the Centre has framed the CAA to ensure that the interests of Assam are safeguarded
  • Listing other initiatives of the AGP-BJP government to facilitate the economic development of the state under Clause 7 of the Assam Accord
  • Sonowal added that he belongs to the Assamese society and his regional interests will never be compromised

Asserting that Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will in no way adversely affect the indigenous population of Assam, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said in a press conference on Wednesday that the Centre has framed rules to ensure that the interests of state are safeguarded.

He said that CAA is a “national law” and the “so-called statistics” in the public domain are false. “A lot of rumours and misinformation are being circulated. No foreign immigrant can come to Assam as a result of CAA, nor shall we let them come in. By no means can CAA affect the demography of Assam,” Sonowal said, hailing himself as the son of the soil.

He added that he belongs to the Assamese society and his regional interests will never be compromised. “Just because I have joined a national party does not mean I have let go of my regional sentiment,” he said, highlighting that it was his government that started the Xohudar programme with one month of getting elected to give recognition and respect to the indigenous tribes and communities of Assam.

The chief minister added that a cut-off date of 31 December, 2014 and the rules ensure that no “Bangladeshi or anybody from some other countries can take advantage of the Act to enter our country”.

Sonowal said that the Asom Gana Parishad-Bharatiya Janata Party government in Assam has many plans aimed at protection of Assamese interest and the concerns of the people regarding the Act have been conveyed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah.

Listing other initiatives of the AGP-BJP government to facilitate the economic development of the state under Clause 7 of the Assam Accord, Sonowal talked about the Numaligarh refinery Limited (NRL), Assam Gas Cracker Limited and in the Petroleum and natural gas sector.

Sonowal said on the day he took oath as the chief minister in 2016, he had pledged to ensure a “foreigner, corruption, pollution and terrorism-free” Assam. “All previous government had not given any importance to the Assam Accord department but my government has rejuvenated it and the first step that we took after assuming office was to announce financial grants for the martyrs and those injured in the Assam agitation against illegal infiltrators”.

He also talked about the title of Jatiya Nayak that was bestowed upon him by the All Assam Students Union (AASU) in 2015. “Even then I had made it clear that it is the martyrs who have sacrificed their lives during the agitation and it is they, and not me, who are the real heroes,” he said.

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