Veteran communist leader and member of CPI(M) politburo Manik Sarkar on Monday said that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has a "hidden agenda" behind its efforts to get the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill passed in the Rajya Sabha, but the opposition political parties would not allow it.
Addressing a rally in the state capital, Sarkar, also the former chief minister of the state, said, "The bill is undemocratic and against the spirit of our constitution. The BJP must be having a hidden agenda behind its efforts to pass the bill, but we would not let than happen".
The public meeting was organised as part of the CPI(M)'s against the contentious bill. "If the bill is not scrapped, it would have disastrous impact on the country's northeastern region and badly affect its demographic profile.
"The BJP is playing with fire and it would destroy the peace and harmony in the north-eastern region," he said.
The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, passed in the Lok Sabha on January 8, seeks to provide citizenship to non-Muslims from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India instead of twelve years, which is the current norm, even if they do not possess any document.
Protests have rocked the entire northeast, with organisations and political parties claiming that the Citizenship bill threatens the identity, culture and language of indigenous people.