"They have no place to go to, except India", he said, adding that several leaders, including first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, were in favour of giving shelter to persecuted minorities in the neighouring countries.
Minus the 14 AGP legislators, the Sonowal government would be left with 73 MLAs, nine more than the majority mark of 64 in the 126-member Assembly. "The Government of India by introducing the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill 2016 in Parliament has violated the understanding", it had said in a letter. "CRPF troopers after being unable to control the mob opened fire injuring six tribal youths, two of them seriously", said a police officer.
Interestingly, while all these was happening outside the office of the Cachar Deputy Commissioner, members of North East Linguistic and Ethnic Coordination Committee (NELECC) hailed the developments and termed this to be a historic move to solve a perrinial problem faced by the people of Assam. The BJP has 61 MLAs and its other regional ally, the Bodoland People's Front, which has assured its continuous support, has 13.
The Bill was cleared at a meeting of the Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and it's expected to be tabled in Lok Sabha on Tuesday, an official privy to the development said.
The legislation, which still needs approval in the upper house, sparked a second day of protests on Tuesday in the northeastern state of Assam, where millions have settled in recent decades after fleeing neighbouring countries.
The bill would provide an exemption to these groups from an Indian law which prohibits naturalization for illegal immigrants.
The AGP, which withdrew from the ruling BJP alliance in the state on Monday following the Centre's decision to ensure passage of the bill in Lok Sabha, had on several occasions asked the chief minister to urge the Centre to not go ahead with the bill but "unfortunately, he did not listen to us", AGP president Atul Bora told reporters here.
However, in Tripura where the saffron brigade had wrested power just past year, it had no impact as well as the Barak Valley of Assam which has been supporting the contentious citizenship bill since its inception.
The BJP has 12 legislators in the Neiphiu Rio-headed government in alliance with the Nationalist Democratic Progressive Party. "There is a divisive nature to this bill and the draft committee has shot down all suggested amendments", Professor Sougata Roy, a member of parliament from Trinamool Congress, said during the protest.
The bill has been opposed by large sections of people and organisations in the Northeast.
However, state Congress president Ripun Bora accused the AGP of carrying on with the alliance for the "sake of power" and noted that the damage to the state had already been done.
The AGP had entered into an alliance with the BJP before the 2014 polls and was opposed to the Bill since the beginning.
As the Congress and the TMC's demand for sending the Bill again to a parliamentary panel were rejected by the government, they staged a walkout.