By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, Dec 24: The Congress Legislature Party (CLP) of Assam has appealed to the BJP-led government at Dispur to observe, what former Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpaye told then Gijarat Chief Minister rendra Modhi, Rajdharma in letter and spirit.
Addressing the media at a hotel in the city today, CLP and Opposition Leader Debabrata Saikia said: "The BJP-led government at Dispur has started an era of discrimition, be it in the eviction policy it has taken up or in the policy it is trying to adopt for granting Indian citizenship. While implementing the eviction drive in the additions of Kaziranga tiol Park (KNP) the intention of the State government has come to the fore. In its directive the Gauhati High Court did ask Dispur to evict all encroachers from all additions of the tiol park. However, Dispur has evicted only from certain pockets in the tiol park, leaving all other additions as they are. The eviction drive was religion-biased. The settlers were evicted on September 19 this year with the promise that they would be rehabilitated within 40 days. The deadline set by the government is over, but not a single evicted family has been rehabilitated as yet. Likewise, families belonging to a particular faith were evicted from Mayong and Sipajhar by serving them notice of only one day. They have been branded as people of suspected tiolities. We also want VGR and PGR lands becoming free from encroachment. However, that has to be done in accordance with the Assam Land Policy, 1989 which makes rehabilitation of the evicted families mandatory. According to the land policy, a person owning three bighas of land is also considered a landless. If the evicted are people of suspected tiolity, they should be caught, lodged in the detention camps or deported to Bangladesh. How come they be evicted? The government should ascertain their citizenship with documents. The eviction by branding them as people of suspected tiolity is inhumane."
Saikia added: "The government of Sarbanda Sonowal has completed seven months. He has many poll promises to meet. He even set targets of various departments for the first 100 days. They just completed some of the works left to be completed by the Congress government during the period and took the credit. We're satisfied to have seen Sonowal taking stock of NRC update work soon after taking charge as the Chief Minister. In order to implement clause 6 of the Assam Accord, he did hold two important meetings. However, now it is seen that he is betraying the people of Assam on NRC update and implementing the Assam Accord. The Centre did promise the Supreme Court that it would publish the updated NRC by January 2016. However, the work remains stagnt under this government. There's a political conspiracy in this episode. The move to amend the Citizenship
Act so as to accord Indian citizenship to foreigners belonging to a particular religious sect has delayed the NRC update work."
On other issues, Saikia said: "The Prime Minister demonetized high-value notes so as to ensure circulation of black money. He also promised to deposit Rs 10/15 lakh in the accounts of every person. He even sought a 50-day period for the situation to normalize. However, neither normacly has returned nor has any amount deposited into the bank accounts of the people. Tea garden workers in the State have been bearing the brunt of the demonetization. We appeal to the government to pay TE workers at least Rs 50 hard cash a day and pay the rest in cashless transaction. Of late, Dispur has announced that it will release Rs 600 crore for the repair of embankments in the State and the work is to begin in January next. It will take at least 20/25 days for tendering. If the work is done without tendering, there's every possibility of corruption. However, only Rs 200 crore of the promised Rs 600 crore for schemes under SDRF has been released. As many as 36 SDRF schemes are still to be approved. This apart, Dispur is still to get Rs 200 crore RIDF funds. How come the repair of embankments can be done before the monsoon?"
The government, Saikia said, did start a tirade against corruption in the beginning. "However, that tirade has come to a grinding halt now," he said. He also came down heavily on the issue of ST status to six ethnic groups, handing over of profitable oilfields to some foreign companies, big dams, dredging of the Brahmaputra, floods and erosion etc.
Former minister Rakibul Hussain also spoke on the occasion. Others present at the press meet were MLAs Dr. zrul Islam, Abdul Khaleque and Wazed Ali Choudhury.