GUWAHATI: The State BJP, in its office-bearers’ meeting held on Monday, opposed the October 23, 2018, 12-hour Assam bandh called by 46 indigenous organizations of the State.
The office-bearers of the party met at Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s residence in Guwahati and discussed a whole lot of issues confronting the State. The issues that came for discussion include the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, the November 17, 2018 convention called by some Bengali organizations, the NRC update, and the forthcoming panchayat poll.
Opposing the October 23 Assam bandh the meeting said that the bandh is illegal as the Gauhati High Court has termed all bandhs as illegal. The meeting has appealed to the people of the State not to support the bandh as such bandhs affect life, besides weakening the economy of the State. The meeting has further said that the bandh will only confuse the people of the State on the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016.
State BJP president Ranjit Kumar Dass has said that the JPC has not submitted its report to the Parliament as yet. “The JPC is still examining the Bill, and as such, there’s no reason to call this bandh. We, therefore, request the people of Assam not to support the October 23, 2018, Assam bandh as bandhs never solve any problem. We’ve also opposed the November 17 convention called by some Bengali organizations.”
The on the ensuing panchayat poll in the State, Dass said: “We’ve discussed the panchayat poll. Soon after the publication of the complete draft NRC, we did request the State Election Commission (SEC) to hold the panchayat poll soon. We’ve made such a request to the SEC yet again.”
Dass further said: “We want decentralization of power, which is why we want early panchayat poll.”
The meeting, however, could not reach the final decision if the party will go it alone or in alliance with the AGP, the BPF and other parties or not in the panchayat poll. The party is yet to take any decision as to what it will do in Legislative Assembly Constituencies (LACs) where the BJP does not have its representation – to field own panchayat candidates or candidates of its alliance partners that have representations there. The issue is yet to get its shape.
Besides the Chief Minister and the State BJP president, the meeting was attended by ministers, MLAs, MPs and other office-bearers of the party.