The opposition parties Tuesday requested the Assam Assembly.Speaker to call for a special session before February 13 to discuss the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which is likely to come up in Rajya Sabha by next week. Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami assured to discuss the matter with all the parties and take a decision by Wednesday.
All the opposition parties -- Congress, AGP and AIUDF -- had brought three different resolution to discuss the bill, but the speaker clubbed them together and made it one. Raising the issue during Pending Resolution of private members, AGP MLA Phani Bhusan Choudhury cited rules that give chance to postpone an ongoing resolution and take up a new one if it is of immediate importance.
His party colleague Keshab Mahanta said: "The Parliament is ending on February 13 and the bill is likely to be raised in Rajya Sabha before that. We want to send a unanimous resolution from Assam Assembly. So please allow us to discuss the matter before that." He pointed out that the next date fixed for discussing private members resolution in Assembly is February 22. Senior Congress leader and the Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia urged the speaker to take up the "very important resolution" and if necessary, "have a special session before February 13".
AGP's Ramendra Narayan Kalita said: "Today's resolution is more important than the pending resolution. I had my incomplete speech scheduled for the pending resolution, but I will not complete my speech for the interest of the state." AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam too requested the speaker to allow discussing the resolution on the bill. The ongoing Budget Session of the state Assembly started on January 28 and will continue till February 26, but there will be recess from February 11 to 17 after the presentation of the state budget on February 6.
Reacting to all members, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said the government has no problem in taking up the new resolution and ready to give its reply. On this, Goswami said: "Some of our rules are contradictory, but I don't want to go into details of those.
I will call all of you later and discuss the matter. Accordingly, I will take a decision by tomorrow." The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document.
(With inputs from agencies.)