Guwahati: Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday said the number of people to be benefited by the amended Citizenship Act will be “very negligible”.
The exact number of those people will be disclosed at an appropriate time, he said and urged the people to maintain peace. “The number of people who will apply (for citizenship under the amended Act) will be very negligible. We are running the government and we have the data. At an appropriate time, you will be able to know all these clearly,” Sonowal said in a video message.
When the application process will be over, each information will be presented before the public, the chief minister said. Sonowal alleged that misinformation like more than one crore people will enter Assam under the Act are being spread to create confusion among the people. “I appeal to all of you not to get convinced in this fake information. Those involved in inciting violence through spread of misinformation do not want peace and development of the society. They are harmful elements. All peaceful people should unite against such anti-social elements,” he added.
The state government has no problem with peaceful protests, Sonowal said adding that anti-social elements destroying public properties and threatening people will be punished. Assam is witnessing one of the worst violent protests by the public in its history with three rail stations, a post office, a bank, a bus terminus, shops, dozens of vehicles and other public properties being set ablaze or ransacked.
After the Rajya Sabha passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill on Wednesday night, the state erupted in protests, in which agitators fought pitched battles with the police in almost every major city or town, forcing the administration to impose curfew.
Meanwhile, Assam Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said that Sonowal will lead a team to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah very soon to discuss the ongoing protests in the state.
He said that the decision to brief the prime minister and the union home minister on the situation was taken at a meeting of BJP MLAs and MPs here. The team will meet the two leaders “very soon” to apprise them of the present situation in the state, Patowary said in a statement.