DUDHNOI: Reacting on the non-passage of Citizenship Bill in Rajya Sabha, Assam Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma on Wednesday said that the development should be seen as a defeat for Assam. He added that without the Bill at least 17 assembly seats in the state will go to Bangladeshi Muslims.
It is to be noted that Sarma is also the convenor of North East Democratic Alliance. The senior BJP leader reiterated his party's commitment for the Bill, stressing that the saffron party will fight the upcoming Lok Sabha poll with this resolution.
The Bill will automatically lapse on June 3 as the Rajya Sabha was adjourned sine die on the last day of the Budget session on Wednesday. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, ANI reported.
"I think not passing the Bill in Rajya Sabha is a defeat for Assam. Without the Bill, 17 (assembly) constituencies will go to Bangladeshi Muslims," Sarma told reporters. "Who will save the (Assamese) community?" he asked.
The BJP-led NDA government at the Centre lacks majority in the Rajya Sabha and experts maintain that this is the main reason why the party refrained from pushing the Bill in the Upper House. Sarma remarked that the BJP will bring in the legislation again once the party will get a majority in Rajya Sabha.
"My party supports the Bill. BJP is committed and will be committed to it forever. BJP will fight (the elections) with this commitment," Sarma said.
(with PTI inputs)