Assam’s 2019 Verdict and the Anti-CAB Mobilisations

January 13, 2020

By Akhil Ranjan Dutta (

The author teaches at the Department of Political Science, Gauhati University. This article has been reprinted from the Economic & Political Weekly.

Abstract: What explains the electoral success of the Bharatiya Janata Party in the general elections in Assam in the face of huge mobilisations against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill? The failure of the mobilisations to project an alternative, the BJP’s hold among tea tribe communities, and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh activism at the grassroots are possible reasons that blunted the impact of the anti-CAB mobilisations. However, ongoing protests against the Citizenship (Amendment) Act could unsettle the calculations of the BJP in Assam.


The question of how the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) averted the unprecedented dissent against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB) in Assam and registered a landslide victory in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections were vividly discussed in two articles recently published in EPW(the first by Deepankar Basu and Debarshi Das titled “Assam: BJP’s Consolidation, Congress’s Lost Opportunities” published on 22 June 2019 and the second by Dhruba Pratim Sharma and Vikas Tripathi with the title “Assam 2019: NDA Deepens Its Dominance,” which appeared in the 24 August 2019 issue).

Both the articles raised a set of critical questions about the electoral outcomes in the state and answered them using statistical evidences primarily drawn from the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies (CSDS) survey data. Though both the articles provided important insights concerning the electoral processes and outcomes in the state, they, however, missed a few pressing political questions in their analyses.

This article addresses four issues that shed light on the electoral dynamics and outcomes in the 2019 elections in the state. Post the 2019 elections, Assam witnessed two significant developments: publication of the final list of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and the enactment of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA). Both these developments, particularly the enactment of the CAA, brought about unprecedented political mobilisations. This article therefore strives to highlight the two developments and explores the BJP’s future prospects in the state.

Limitations of the Mobilisation

While commenting on the failure of the anti-CAB protests to influence the electoral upshots, the analysts did not deeply probe into the nature of the anti-CAB mobilisations and the non-convergence of these movements from the larger electoral processes. The anti-CAB movements brought forth an unprecedented civil–political alliance against the BJP-led incumbent governments. Although this alliance had an electoral ambition of teaching the BJP a lesson, it did not, however, have any electoral agency to carry out its objective. The mobilisations were primarily centred on the sanctity of the Assam Accord, 1985, which, among other things, called for the detection, deletion and deportation of illegal immigrants, setting 24 March 1971 as the cut-off date for all those purposes.

The anti-CAB alliance did not have political coherence and consolidation, either. For example, two important nationalist organisations, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) and the Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) pioneered the mobilisations against the bill. While AASU brought together almost all ethnic student outfits to its fold, the KMSS brought around 70 organisations, including the Asom Jatiyatavadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP), various ethnic outfits and organisations representing religious minorities too, to the table.

Throughout the anti-CAB campaigns, these two alliances did not forge any unity. The third important face of the resistance against the CAB was the Nagarikatta Aain Shanshodhan Virodhi Mancha (Forum against Citizenship Act [Amendment] Bill) led by the eminent intellectual Hiren Gohain, which also brought several political and civic forces together. The Gohain-led forum was open to the forces led both by the AASU and KMSS, but failed to bring these two important forces onto a common platform.

The resistance groups were hoping to transform the widespread anti-CAB sentiments into electoral results. A group of concerned citizens, including Gohain and Akhil Gogoi, appealed to the voters to not vote for the BJP in 2019 general elections without specifying an alternative that the voters should choose (Telegraph 2019). The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), which was also at the forefront of the anti-CAB mobilisations, left the BJP-led government in protest only to come back as the elections approached.

Three important civil society groups, the North East Students Organisation (NESO) in which the AASU is a member, the KMSS and the Gohain-led anti-CAB forum met Rahul Gandhi on 4 February 2019 to raise the issue of the CAB. This meeting was crucial, as it helped to stall the bill in the Rajya Sabha. However, none of these outfits projected the Congress as an alternative to the BJP in the state. When there were public criticisms over the political motives of these outfits, they assumed a rather defensive posture. For example, AASU General Secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi criticised Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal for his remarks that approaching Rahul Gandhi was “a sad reflection on Assam” (Sentinel 2019a).

The KMSS, since its inception, has taken an anti-Congress position. In 2011, it published a list of 50 mega allegations against the Congress government and campaigned vigorously against the party. In 2014 too, its leader, Gogoi, took a very strong anti-Congress stand. Just before the elections, Gogoi declared:

We will issue circular to our peoples spread across different areas of the state to campaign against Congress. We will distribute leaflets and reach out to the people in riverine areas and tea gardens spread across the state. (Economic Times 2014)

In March 2015, the KMSS declared that it would form its own political party which “will fight for farmers, labourers, middle-class—in short the exploited class of our society—and for the basic facilities they need. We will start a new politics, a new struggle” (Economic Times 2015).

The KMSS had never accepted the Congress as a credible pro-people party and perceived it to be pro-corporate and averse to the interests of the indigenous people. On its part, the Congress too never attempted to project itself as a reliable alternative to the BJP in the state. It did not have an agenda and organisational preparedness to confront the saffron party. The party was expecting a political miracle out of the anti-CAB mobilisations.

While the BJP managed to keep its alliance with the Bodoland People’s Front (BPF) together, brought members from other ethnic outfits under its wings, and succeeded in bringing the AGP back to its fold, the Congress did not even attempt to build any credible alliance with any political party in the state, and its indecisiveness about forging an alliance with the All India United Democratic Front (which finally did not happen) offered the perfect political fodder to the BJP to spread rumours that both parties had actually formed a secret alliance. The Congress’s failure to avert propaganda helped the BJP to penetrate into the anti-CAB social bases, particularly in upper Assam.

All these factors partially explain why the majority of those who supported the anti-CAB mobilisations finally voted for the BJP (Sharma and Tripathi 2019). However, the real reasons behind the BJP’s victory are its populist policies, its success in persuading the tea tribe communities to embrace the party, the gradual expansion of the Hindutva network and the role of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) in softening the blow of the anti-CAB protests in the elections.

Co-opting the Tea Tribes

One of the striking features of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections in Assam was the BJP’s consolidation among the tea tribe communities. These communities constitute around 17% of Assam’s total population and has a 35%–40% vote share in the Brahmaputra Valley. The RSS has been working among the communities for decades now. In the 2014 Lok Sabha and the 2016 assembly elections, the BJP’s performance had been extraordinary in upper Assam primarily due to the swing of these communities towards the BJP, which used to be a solid vote bank of the Congress in the past (Pisharoty 2019).

The BJP had prepared strategically to woo these communities. Apart from the several decades of work carried out by the RSS, the party prepared its blueprints in such a way that it was able to successfully sway the loyalty of the communities from the Congress to the BJP. Since the BJP-led state government assumed power in 2016, numerous schemes were introduced for the tea tribe communities to create a permanent and solid electoral block for the party.

In every budget, the government set up schemes that included freebies, such as the direct transfer of funds to the individual bank accounts of people belonging to the communities. In 2017, the government launched the Chah Bagicha Dhan Puraskar Mela. Under this scheme, in January 2018, the government transferred the first tranche of ₹ 2,500 to each of the over 7,00,000 accounts of the tea garden workers across 752 tea gardens spreading over 26 districts of Assam. In the 2018–19 budget speech, the finance minister declared that the government would be releasing the second tranche of ₹ 2,500 on 15 February 2019 to an expanded list of beneficiaries that included those who had been left out.

The government also declared that from the financial year 2019–20, the state government would be providing rice, which was being provided at the rate of ₹ 3 per kg under the National Food Security Act (NFSA), free of cost to 4,00,000 families in the tea garden areas, covering a total of 2 million beneficiaries. The pilot implementation of the scheme was scheduled for March 2019 (Sarma 2019).

For the 2019 elections, the BJP picked up two candidates from the tea tribe communities, Rameswar Teli (Dibrugarh) and Pallab Lochan Das (Tezpur). In both the constituencies, the performances have been extraordinary. In Dibrugarh, the BJP candidate polled more than 65% of the votes compared to 29% secured by the Congress contender, and registered a lead in all nine assembly segments.

The margin of victory of 3.60 lakh votes was also remarkable, given the fact that he defeated the strong Congressman, Paban Singh Ghatowar, a member from the same community, and who had won the constituency five times and was also a member of the union council of ministers of the Narasimha Rao and Manmohan Singh governments.

The BJP’s decision to nominate Das as a state minister in Sonowal’s council of ministers was both dramatic and strategic. It was reported that the BJP’s state unit forwarded only the name of Himanta Biswa Sarma, the North East Democratic Alliance (NEDA) coordinator and the state finance minister, to the central election committee of the party. The central committee disregarded the state unit’s nomination and chose Das.

The sitting BJP member of Parliament (MP), R P Sarmah, an old RSS activist who belongs to the dominant Nepali community, was also denied the ticket (News18 2019). The party’s performance in this constituency, too, was extraordinary. It secured more than 57% of the total votes polled against around 37% collected by the nearest Congress rival, and registered a lead in all nine assembly segments. The margin of victory was over 2.40 lakh votes.

Kamakhya Prasad Tasa, who was the BJP sitting MP from Jorhat constituency and a member of the same community, was denied the ticket for the 2019 elections. In this constituency too, where the tea tribes have a substantial presence, the party claimed an outstanding victory, securing more than 51% of the votes polled, while the Congress rival obtained 43.5% votes. The BJP also registered a lead in eight out of 10 assembly segments.

In a cunning move, the BJP deployed an Ahom candidate, Tapan Kumar Gogoi, former general secretary of the AASU, also an incumbent state minister in the Sonowal government, pitting him against the Congress candidate who was also from the same community. Immediately after the Lok Sabha elections, Tasa was rewarded by being elected to the Rajya Sabha. In the newly sworn-in union council of ministers, Rameswar Teli was inducted as a state minister, the only representative chosen from Assam.

Role of the RSS

Had the RSS not been there, it would not have been easy for the BJP to prevent the transformation of the anti-CAB sentiments, which were spreading to the grassroots, into anti-BJP votes. Field report suggests that the organisation played a significant role in ensuring the BJP’s success in the state by working at the grassroots level to mitigate the effects of the CAB debacle. The Sangh reportedly organised around 600 meetings at the grassroots and distributed 9 million leaflets to allay the fear against the bill (Economic Times 2019). These meetings were organised in small scales, inviting eminent persons of the respective localities and engaging them in a sustained manner.

However, that was only an immediate responsibility shouldered by the RSS at the critical hour. The organisation’s real contribution towards the BJP’s victory in the state since 2014 has been the outcome of its decades-long work in the state, particularly among the tea tribe communities and the tribal communities.

Explaining the phenomenal success of the BJP in 2019, Bhattacharyya (2019) has pointed out that “the traditional bastions of the Congress in Assam’s rural areas are being shaken and smeared with a saffron hue, which also explains the BJP’s phenomenal success in the general elections.” Bhattacharyya was investigating the role of the Ekal Vidyalayas, or single-teacher schools, that have mushroomed across almost all districts in Assam.

Apart from the Ekal Vidyalayas, the RSS also established several other educational institutions, such as the Sankardev Sishu Niketan and Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram, in different parts of the state. The Sankardev Sishu Niketan, which is affiliated to Vidya Bharati, has a huge network in the state with 550 schools that enrol more than 1,60,000 students in the state.1 

These schools, whose medium of instruction is Assamese and which are affiliated to the state board (Board of Secondary Education, Assam), provide reasonably quality education at affordable fees. In 2019, the pass percentage of these schools was almost 95%, with more than 130 schools registering a 100% success. In 2016, the state education minister publicly declared that these schools would be expanded to all 2,202 panchayats in the state (Gohain 2016).

The RSS, under the banner of the Purvottar Janajati Shiksha Samiti, has established a huge network of single-teacher schools in the state. Quoting Karna Gaur, prabhat pramukh of the schools in the North East, Bhattacharyya has pointed out that about 70% of these schools are in the tea belt and the remaining schools are in areas inhabited by different tribal communities, such as the Karbis, Dimasas, Mishings, Rabhas and Bodos. “By the end of 2018, as many as 4,650 such schools were established in 22 districts out of a total of thirty-three in the state” (Bhattacharyya 2019).

The RSS has now planned to set up new schools in the districts of Dhubri, Nalbari and South Salmara in western Assam, which have sizeable Muslim populations. Tea tribes play a decisive role in the electoral politics in four Lok Sabha constituencies, namely Jorhat, Dibrugarh, Lakhimpur and Tezpur. The percentage of votes polled by the BJP and its victory margins in these constituencies reveal the penetration of the Hindutva forces into these communities. The Ekal Vidyalayas played an important role in this achievement. Apart from the schools mentioned earlier, the RSS also expanded its network through

shakhas, Vivekananda schools, balwadis, Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalayas, tuition centres, study circles, vocational training centres and a hospital. The Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram (VKA), which works among tribal people, runs eight hostels, 42 nursery schools and coaching centres, holds medical camps and sends tribal teams to out-of-State sports events. (Gupta 2018)

Poverty and the Populist Agenda 

The hyper-populism indulged in by the BJP-led state and union governments have surpassed the previous Congress-led government. One of the much-publicised epitomes of development of the new government has been the Astadash Mukutar Unnoyonee Mala, under which 18 flagship schemes have been launched. Under the National Food Security Act, the Government of India provides rice at ₹ 3 per kg to 5.7 million households in Assam.

In the 2019–20 budget speech, it was declared that the Government of Assam would provide rice at a further subsidised rate of ₹ 1 per kg instead of the earlier rate of ₹ 3 per kg, which would benefit 5.3 million households. The government has also announced that it would provide “one tolä of gold” (1 tolä = 11.664 g) to brides belonging to all communities of the state (it is customary to provide gold at the time of wedding), provided the marriage is formally registered. Offering gold to the brides under the government scheme has come under criticism; however, the government has remained steadfast on it.

Admission fee waiver and free textbooks up to the degree levels to the students of economically backward families are some of the other initiatives that have attracted criticism. The government has launched schemes that may make both the students and teachers obliged to the incumbent government. It has also proposed giving a subsidy of ₹ 700 per student per month for 10 months a year on mess bills for the students staying in the hostels of government or provincialised colleges and universities (Sarma 2019).

Future of the BJP in Assam

The CSDS–Lokniti survey (2019) shows how the BJP benefited from social and religious polarisation in the 2019 elections. This polarisation reduced the Congress to a party dependent on the electoral base of the East Bengal-origin Muslims. The BJP is all set to intensify the process of polarisation in the post-NRC period (the final list was published on 31 August 2019). Updating the NRC for the state has been a long-drawn process that started in 2013. Out of the 3.29 crore people who had applied for entry in the NRC, 3.11 crore made it to the list and a little more than 19 lakh people have been excluded from the final list (India Today 2019).

The draft NRC, published on 30 July 2018, had excluded more than 40 lakh applicants. After appeal and addressing claims and objections, the number came down to 19 lakh. The number is too little for those who have been saying the figure to be more than 50 lakh. Therefore, the final list of the NRC has aroused strong reactions from different quarters and many, including the Assam Public Works (APW) leader Abhijeet Sarma, based on whose writ petition the Supreme Court ordered the updating of the NRC and has monitored the process for more than the last six years, have called it as the protector of foreigners rather than detectors. He said that the “NRC has deceived the people of Assam” (Firstpost 2019).

The BJP state president, Ranjeet Kumar Das, has said that his party would not accept the updated NRC and “appealed to the central and the state governments to prepare a nationwide NRC” (Hindu 2019). The BJP strategist and NEDA Coordinator, Sarma, said that “the Centre and the State governments have been discussing new ways to eject foreigners after the ‘disappointment’ with the NRC.” He also asserted: “I don’t think this is the final list. There are many more to come” (Hindu 2019).

In an interview with News Live, Sarma refused to accept the number and alleged that illegal Muslim migrants have got their way into the NRC. He put all the blame on the NRC coordinator, Partik Hajela, and said that Hajela, an inefficient officer by record, was allowed to decide the destiny of the Assamese nationality single-handedly. Sarma urged the state government, APW and AASU to collectively appeal to the Supreme Court of India for revivification of the NRC before it is sealed (News Live 2019). A section of those who steered the anti-CAB mobilisations, including the ASSU and AGP, also expressed dissatisfaction over the final list.

Against the backdrop of this mounting dissatisfaction despite the certification by the Ministry of External Affairs that the NRC has been a transparent exercise carried out under the apex court’s monitoring, the BJP is all set to prepare its blueprints for the 2021 elections. Amidst these developments, and based on the appeal of Hajela, the Supreme Court ordered the “inter-cadre transfer of Hajela to Madhya Pradesh on deputation for the maximum period permissible under the relevant rules and regulations” (Times of India 2019). Complying to this order, the Government of India approved Hajela’s inter-cadre transfer to Madhya Pradesh for a period of three years. This transfer also evoked mix reactions in the state. On the other hand, on 20 November 2019, the home minister declared in Parliament that the NRC will be prepared for all states of the country.

Taking a cue from this, the finance minister of Assam and BJP’s strategist in North East India Himanat Biswa Sarma asserted that the state government has decided to reject the current NRC as it “included many who should not have been and excluded many who are genuine Indian citizens” (India Today 2019). He also said that not a single stakeholder is happy about the present NRC. The perception being created about the current NRC is that it has included 4 to 10 million Bangladeshis, mostly Muslims, which threaten the language, culture and resources of the indigenous people of Assam.

The BJP also attempted to leave no stone unturned to invoke its self-proclaimed love for the indigenous people by projecting the NRC as an instrument of protecting the illegal migrants rather than safeguarding the genuine Indians. The party is already in a better position do so after the union government formed an expert committee to suggest measures to ensure constitutional, legal and administrative safeguards for the Assamese people as per Clause 6 of the Assam Accord (Economic Times 2019a).

However, the state plunged into a new wave of anti-CAB protests once the union government introduced the bill in Parliament and finally got through both the houses on 11 December 2019. The composition of the anti-CAB movement also had undergone a transformation. Both AASU and KMSS are at the forefront. However, the current wave of protests has been spontaneous in nature, and the initial lead was taken by the students’ communities.

The students’ unions of three state universities—Cotton University, Dibrugarh University and Gauhati University—registered unprecedented protests, which have also been joined by the students of Tezpur University, a central university in the state. Writers and artists also came out on the street forcing many artists affiliated to the BJP to resign and join back in the peoples’ protests.

Protesting against the CAB, Jahnu Barua, the national award winning film-maker withdrew his film from the 8th Assam State Film Awards and this year’s film festival (Scroll.in2019). Gauhati University Teachers’ Association (GUTA) brought out a protest march on 6 December 2019 against the CAB. Dibrugarh University Teachers’ Association (DUTA) too did the same. Protesting against the silence of the Assam College Teachers’ Association (ACTA) over the CAB, many college units declared their withdrawal of membership from the association.

The outrage forced the ACTA to take an anti-CAB stand. On 10 December 2019, the day after the CAB was passed in the Lok Sabha, AASU and the NESO called for an 11-hour bandh, which almost paralysed the entire Brahmaputra Valley and many other parts of North East India. On 11 December 2019, the day the bill was debated and passed in the Rajya Sabha, Assam witnessed unprecedented protests throughout the state, particularly in Guwahati city. Paramilitary forces were deployed in the city, but the protestors stopped regular life in the city.

The Assam secretariat was blocked by the protestors forcing all ministers and officials to remain absent in their offices. Sporadic violence also erupted. In the evening, a curfew was imposed in the city and other places of the state subsequently being extended for an indefinite period. Internet services were withdrawn from the evening of 11 December in 10 districts “to prevent ‘misuse’ of social media to disturb peace and tranquility and to maintain law and order” (Times of India2019a).

But, the real objective is to prevent publicity of the protestors through social media. Amidst the curfew, on 12 December, thousands of people gathered in Latashil Field at the centre of the city to register the protests against the CAB-turned CAA. All these have forced the Government of India to postpone the India–Japan summit, which was scheduled to take place in Guwahati from 15–17 December, and to be attended by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The visit of the Indian home minister to the North East Police Academy in Shillong was cancelled due to the ongoing protests.

What will be the outcomes of these protests in terms of countering the CAB-turned CAA and the BJP in the ensuing elections? There are reports that the act will be challenged in the Supreme Court by a number of organisations and individuals including by AASU as it violates the pillars of the Constitution, particularly Article 14. Pratap Bhanu Mehta has expressed his serious doubts regarding the fallouts of such an option.

We look to the Supreme Court for a semblance of constitutional deliverance. We have no idea how a court will rule. But one of the lessons of our recent history is that we misunderstand how a Supreme Court functions in a democracy. The Supreme Court has badly let us down in recent times, through a combination of avoidance, mendacity, and lack of zeal on behalf of political liberty. (Mehta 2019)

Countering the BJP in the ensuing elections raises lot of critical issues. First, the CAB-turned CAA has exempted most of the hill states of North East India and two hill districts and the Bodoland Teritorial Area Districts in Assam, which are under either the Inner Line Permit system or provisions of the Sixth Schedule. Therefore, the bill-turned act will primarily impact the Brahmaputra Valley. Through these exemptions, the unity in resistance in the region has been weakened.

Second, the outrage against the CAB-turned CAA is mostly spontaneous, and there are apprehensions that reactionary elements have penetrated to derail it through vandalism and violence. There have been attacks on police and destruction of public properties. Such violence will give legitimacy to the state to use coercion for suppression. Three persons have been reported to have succumbed to death in Assam in police firing on 12 December. Lathi charges and use of tear gas have been reported from different places. Casting doubts on the ability of the Assam Police to deal with the law and order situation, the union government deputed a non-Assamese police official in the rank of ADGP to the state.

Third, how will this movement succeed in bringing solidarity among all stakeholders and to culminate in an alternative political force so as to represent the anti-CAB/anti-CAA dissent in the electoral fray? The government has been trying to bring division in the ongoing resistance by targeting select organisations, particularly KMSS.

However, arrests of KMSS rank and file, including its main leader Akhil Gogoi, have not received due attention from other stakeholders of the movement. Nobody condemned the arrest of the KMSS leaders or demanded their immediate release during the day-long fast organised under the banner of AASU in Chandmari on 13 December 2019. Therefore, it is too early to predict about such a possibility.

Unlike the pre-2019 elections, the ongoing anti-CAB/anti-CAA movement has a strong anti-BJP sentiment. But, there is neither political nor ideological coherence among the stakeholders. The BJP, with its master strategists supported by state-controlled resources and cultural and religious outfits at the grassroots, will try its best both to co-opt and realign with new forces to counter the current wave of resistance.

Therefore, the possibility of an alternative to the BJP will be contingent upon an alternative vision of regional development apart from the opposition to the CAA and a broad political alliance inclusive of the left–secular–regional forces who are opposed to the ideology and politics of the BJP. Strategic alliance with the Congress cannot entirely be ruled out for such an alternative. The role of the student communities both inside and outside the banner of AASU and other student outfits as well as the grassroots movements will be crucial in this regard.


[1] Information received from Sada Dutta (30 June 2019), who acted as the general secretary of the network of these schools for nine years. He informed that before the BJP came to power in
Assam, these schools engaged eminent educationists of the state as well-wishers and advisers. Although affiliated to Vidya Bharati, the presence of the RSS was not very prominent. However, since the BJP came to power in the state in 2016, the RSS has been increasingly getting directly involved in running the affairs of the schools.

The author expresses gratitude to the anonymous referee for their comments on this article, Paul Wallace for his comments on another version of the article to be published by Sage in a volume edited by Wallace, and the UGC-SAP (DRS II) programme granted to the Department of Political Science, Gauhati University for financial assistance.


Bhattacharyya, Rajeev (2019): “Saffron Wave in Assam: Ekal Vidyalayas Helped BJP, RSS Establish Strong Roots in Assam’s Tribal Areas, Tea Estates,” Firstpost, 24 May, viewed on 27 June 2019,….

Economic Times (2014): “Akhil Gogoi to Campaign against Congress in Assam,” 2 April,….

— (2015): “Akhil Gogoi’s KMSS to Float New Political Party to Fight Polls,” 18 March,….

— (2019): “RSS Cleared the Air in Northeast, Assam on Citizenship Bill,” 27 May,

— (2019a): “Government Panel on Clause 6 of Assam Accord Reconstituted,” 16 July, //

 (2019b): “Don’t Give Political Tone to AICC Meeting over CAB: AASU to Sarbananda Sonowal,” 8 February,

Firstpost (2019): “Original Petitioner for Updation of Citizens’ Log Furious over Meagre Numbers Excluded, Says Whole Exercise Was Wasted,” 31 August,….

Gohain, Hiren (2016): “The BJP’s Plans for Assam: An RSS-Run School in Every Panchayat,” Wire, 15 June,

Gupta, Smita (2018): “How the RSS Grew Roots in the North-East,” Hindu BusinessLine, 9 March, viewed on 21 July 2019,….

Hindu (2019): “Assam NRC Final List Publication: Live Updates,” 31 August,….

India Today (2019): “Assam Final NRC List Released: 19,06,657 People Excluded, 3.11 Crore Make It to Citizenship List,” 31 August,

 (2019a): “Why the Nationwide NRC Proposed by Amit Shah Is Being Criticized,” 22 November,

Mehta, Pratap Bhanu (2019): “The Morning After CAB: It Will Be a Mistake to Rely Just on Supreme Court,” Indian Express, 12 December,

News18 (2019): “Denied Ticket, BJP’s Mission 20 Stands in the Way of Himanta Biswa Sarma and a Delhi Berth,” 22 March,…

News Live (2019): Interview in programme called “Prekhyapat,”

Pisharoty, Sangeeta Barooah (2019): “Rameshwar Teli’s Inclusion in Govt Telling of BJP’s Desire to Woo Assam’s Tea Tribe,” Wire, 31 May,…

Sarma, Himanta Biswa (2019): “Assam Budget: Budget Speech 2019–20,” Finance Department, Government of Assam, (2019): “Citizenship Bill Protests: Filmmaker Jahnu Barua Withdraws His Film from Assam Film Festival,” 12 December,

Sharma, Dhruba Pratim and Vikas Tripathi (2019): “Assam 2019 NDA Deepens Its Dominance,” Economic & Political Weekly, Vol 54, No 34. 

Sentinel (2019a): “Chief Minister Says AASU Approaching Rahul Gandhi Is Sad,” 7 February,…

Times of India (2019): “Govt Approves Transfer of Assam NRC Coordinator Prateek Hajela to MP,” 6 November,

— (2019a): “Suspension of Internet in 10 Assam Districts Extended for 48 Hours,” 12 December,

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