Mass resignation of workers rocks AGP

Angry AGP workers vandalised the party office in Upper Assam’s Sadia.

Guwahati: Intensifying their protest against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, the powerful All Assam Students Union on Sunday night took out a massive torchlight procession in which a large number of people took part and shouted slogans, besides showing black flags to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

AASU also launched a frontal attack on the CM, who had at a meeting earlier said nothing can be achieved by protests, so the youth should not be take part in any “concocted and baseless agitations”.

The ongoing agitation has also hit the regional Asom Gana Parishad, which was hit by mass resignations of party workers who accused their leaders, including party president Atul Bora, of sacrificing the interest of the state and its people in order to remain in power.

Angry AGP workers vandalised the party office in Upper Assam’s Sadia. The AGP, which has three ministers in the ruling alliance, has been silent on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, but many of its senior founder leaders like Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and Brindawan Goswami have been opposing the CAB. The AGP leadership refused to pay any heed to their leaders’ demand to hold a central committee meeting of the party on the CAB.

Earlier, Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who has been at the receiving end of the ongoing anti-CAB movement, on Sunday called on the state’s youth to remain vigilant and suggested they not join any agitation that can block the state’s development.

Mr Sonowal, who himself as a student leader had led several protests and agitations, said: “You can’t change the future through protests and agitations. Youths of the state must endeavour to put Assam on the world stage. Building a robust work culture in the state should be the prime objective of everyone. Youths must not be misled to join agitations based on concocted and baseless grounds.”

Assam finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who was also present at a foundation-laying ceremony of the public works department, regretted that some forces were trying to create a rift between the state’s communities to stall development initiatives. He said that state had seen a lot of agitations and movements in the last 40-50 years. “We all know its fallout,” he added.

However, the appeals by the CM and his deputy have failed to make any difference as various organisations continued with their protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill across the state, and some BJP and AGP ministers faced protests  across the state.

The ongoing anti-CAB agitation has, meanwhile, led to fears in the tourism sector, which is afraid it will incur massive losses if the agitations continue to rock the region. Referring to the small number of visitors to top wildlife destinations like Kaziranga, Manas and Pobitora in the ongoing peak season, the authority in the Pobitra Wildlife sanctuary, Mukul Tamuly, said the number of tourists visiting the park had fallen significantly. “It seems to be the visible impact of the ongoing g anti-CAB agitation,” he said.

Echoing similar concerns, an official of the Assam Tourism Development Corporation-run Aranya Lodge at Kohora in Kaziranga said unlike last year, when tourists flocked to the national park in large numbers, a distinct drop in footfalls was visible this season.

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