'The NRC policy that has been adopted by Dispur is aimed at giving political mileage to the ruling Congress. If the NRC is updated in accordance with what the Congress government at Dispur wants, the State will not be able to deport a single Bangladeshi in the future. This is a plot to give Indian citizenship to Bangladeshis. - Pranjal Rajkonwar
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, July 18: The All Tai Ahom Students' Union (ATASU) has warned the people of the State against accepting Dispur's policy on NRC update.
Talking to newsmen in the city today, ATASU president Pranjal Rajkonwar said: "The NRC policy that has been adopted by Dispur is aimed at giving political mileage to the ruling Congress. If the NRC is updated in accordance with what the Congress government at Dispur wants, the State will not be able to deport a single Bangladeshi in the future. This is a plot to give Indian citizenship to Bangladeshis."
"When the NRC pilot project was started in Barpeta in 2011 there had been stiff opposition from the religious minorities in the State, but now there's no such protests. This clearly shows that what Dispur is doing now is to give Indian citizenship status to Bangladeshis. This is detrimental to the indigenous people of the State," Rajkonwar said, and added: "The indigenous people of Assam who have been living in the state even before the Yandaboo Pact (1826) should get direct entry to the NRC. Some ethnic groups like the tea tribes who entered Assam after the Yandaboo Pact but have to relationships with any other States should also be directly included in the NRC."
Coming down heavily on the BJP, Rajkonwar said: "The seven BJP MPs from Assam, including Sarbanda Sonowal, are a burden for the State. In the past one year and a half, they failed to raise any burning issues of the State at the Centre. Their role is suspicious. It seems that they have no courage to raise their voice in front of Prime Minister rendra Modi who takes anti-Assam steps one after another. Before the last Lok Sabha elections, the State BJP took a number of programmes, including bandhs, against the Lower Subansiri Hydroelectric Project. However, after the BJP coming to power at the Centre, the party leadership seems to have zipped the lips of its Assam MPs. They preferred to keep silence when Union Power Minister Piyush Goel said that the Centre would go ahead with the Subansiri Lower dam."
Rajkonwar further said: "The State BJP was very vocal on the inter-State border disputes. However, after the BJP coming to power at the Centre, they are silent now. The India-Bangladesh Land Swap Deal is another example that glaringly exposes the Saffron party's double standard while in the Opposition and when in power at the Centre."
The ATASU president was also sceptical on the Prime Minister's, what he said, anti-Assam stance. "The Prime Minister has deprived an Assam daughter, Rupsikha Bora, and an Assam son, Jahnu Baruah. He should tender an apology before the people of Assam."
On the issue of ST status to the six ethnic groups in the State - Tai Ahoms, Morans, Muttucks, Chutias, Koch-Rajbpngshis and Tea Tribes - Rajkonwar said: "This was an election issue of the BJP in Assam. Once coming to power at the Centre , the party now wants to keep the issue alive so as to make it poll issue again. Before the last Lok Sabha polls, the BJP did say that the six ethnic groups demanding ST status in Assam would get their demand fulfilled within six months of the party coming to power at the Centre. One year and a half has been elapsed, but the party is mum on the issue now. We won't step back from our demand for ST status. We want, while meeting the demand, the government should see that the interests of the existing ST communities in the state aren't affected."
The ATASU president also came down heavily on the Governor for, what he said, Saffronizing the Dibrugarh University Court.
Rajkonwar said: "In protest against all mentioned above, we're going to hold a series of agitation in Assam and at New Delhi from July 28 when ATASU members will wear black badges and register their protest in all districts and subdivisions in the State. On August 10, we will stage a demonstration at Dispur Last Gate. From August 21 to 23, we're going to hold our organizatiol programme in Lakhimpur. In October, thousands of ATASU members will stage dhar at Jantar-Mantar in New Delhi and we will gherao the residences of State BJP MPs."