GUWAHATI: Leader of the opposition Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia came down heavily on the issue of Cabinet decision on setting up a high-level committee for implementation of Clause-6 of the Assam Accord.
Debabrata Saikia posed seven questions regarding Cabinet decision on Wednesday to the State and Central BJP leaders. He questioned, “Instead of making a dramatic announcement, why did the Modi and Sonowal governments not utilize the Assam Accord Implementation Department of the state government between 2016 and now to make a start in implementing Clause-6 of the Assam Accord? Secondly, why has the BJP party, which did not allow adoption of a Resolution Proposal brought by the Indian National Congress MLA Abdul Khaleque for implementation of Clause-6 of the Assam Accord in the Assam Legislative Assembly, suddenly develop a commitment to the pact three months before the NDA’s term at the Centre expires? Thirdly, what is the motive behind using the term “Assamese people” in the official press release when even the Assam Legislative Assembly has not been able to arrive at a consensus regarding this definition? Fourthly, will the NDA government withdraw the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which effectively nullifies the Assam Accord, before the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections? Fifthly, will ST status be granted to the six communities of Assam before the Lok Sabha elections? Sixthly, will implementation of Clause-6 of the Assam Accord entail scrapping the process of privatizing oilfields, limestone mines etc of Assam? And lastly, has the NDA government kept its promise to consult all stakeholders before resuming construction of the Lower Subansiri Hydel Project or has it surreptitiously started construction work?”
Debabrata Saikia said, “Two things have become clear from the announcement made yesterday by the Union Home Minister, Rajnath Singh, that a high-level committee will be set up for implementation of Clause-6 of the Assam Accord. Firstly, the fierce opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 in Assam has rattled the BJP and it is trying to hoodwink the people of Assam by means of a cynical sop some three months before the General Elections. Secondly, the BJP is capable of using every cheap gimmick and insincere promise to win elections.”
“The fact is that a high-level committee, with bureaucrat G K Pillai as the chief, had been constituted for Assam Accord implementation around the year 2000 when the NDA headed by Atal Behari Vajpayee was in power at the Centre. However, no further progress was made during Vajpayee’s five-year term. After the Narendra Modi government came to power, Rajnath Singh had announced on 27 December, 2016 that Clause-6 of the Assam Accord would be implemented by the incumbent NDA government. A few months later, on 26 April, 2017, the same tune was sung again following a tripartite meeting in New Delhi between the Central government, the Assam government and the leadership of the AASU. Therefore, yesterday’s flogging of the same horse can only be interpreted as a pre-poll jumla”, Saikia further added.
Debabrata Saikia speculated, “On the whole, it appears that the BJP considers the people of Assam as extremely gullible because it has come up with a new assurance at a time when the list of unfulfilled pre-election promises made in 2014 and 2016 is already quite long. Some of the unfulfilled promises and U-turns of the BJP include deportation of illegal migrants once the BJP came to power in Assam; non-transfer of territory to Bangladesh; grant of ST status to six communities of Assam; revival of the Nagaon and Cachar paper mills; sanction of Rs 4500 crore for the Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation (previously Namrup Fertilizer Corporation) within 100 days of coming to power, etc.”
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