By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, March 25: Assam CPI leader Munin Mahanta has said that the Congress has made the people of Assam beggars by doling them out goods like a mosquito nets or blankets instead of making them able to buy such commodities on their own. The BJP, according Mahanta, has brought about ‘acche din’ only for the corporate houses, not for the common people.
Talking to newsmen in the city today while releasing the party’s election manifesto today for the Assembly election in the State, Mahanta said: “The development as claimed by the Congress in Assam is only development of corruption. It is corruption that has nipped development in the State. The BJP, on the other hand, has been cutting its budgets on welfare schemes like MGNREGA, ICDS etc., so as to close them once. After the BJP coming to power at the Centre, around 50,000 farmers committed suicide in the country. If the Congress or the BJP come to power, the situation in the State will go from bad to worse. This is why we, the Left parties, have been trying to prevent them from coming to power again.”
Highlighting the party’s thrust areas in the election manifesto released today, Mahanta said: “We want the six ethnic groups in Assam be accorded ST status, if need be, by bringing amendment to the Constitution of India. Such a step will lead to the ST population in the State to 70 per cent. In the event of according this status under Article 371(A), the resources of the State will be only of the residents of the State as is the case in galand.”
On Panchayatiraj, Mahanta said: “We want it to be strengthened at the grassroots level by holding regular elections to municipal corporations, autonomous councils etc., and handing over power enshrined by the Constitution of India to them. Corruption has to be rooted out.”
On the vexed issue of insurgency in the State, the Left party said: “Besides withdrawing the Armed Forces Special Power Act from the Northeast, the government should solve issues through talks with the outfits eager to sit across the table. We also want that the inter-state border skirmishes should be put an end by holding talks between the states concerned with the initiative of the Centre.”
On the most talked about issue of NRC update and deportation of foreigners, Mahanta said: “The NRC update process has been going on, but we want to make it faster so as to start the process of deportation of foreigners. We are against the policy of the BJP to provide Indian citizenship to Hindu Bengalis only”.
The party said that the country lacks a clear-cut employment policy that has to be drawn without further delay.
Other issues which the manifesto of the party lays stress on are industrial development, declaration of floods and erosion in Assam as a tiol problem, development of agriculture, old-age pension, protection to environment, development of Brahmaputra and Barak water highways so as to make their link with Kolkata possible through Bangladesh, equal rights to women and putting an end to child labor, etc.