New dispensation last chance to resolve foreigner issue, implement Assam Accord
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, May 21: The rousing ovations received by Sarbanda Sonowal after the BJP's landslide victory in the State reminds one of the rapturous reception the former student leader had received after he had successfully challenged the IM(DT) Act in the apex court, leading to its repeal.
And now when Sonowal is set to head a BJP alliance government having AGP and former AASU leaders, the spotlight is back on the vexed illegal migration issue.
The BJP alliance government is being seen as the best possible dispensation to implement not only the Assam Accord, but also for resolving questions on threat to indigenous identity and the dire necessity of a foreigner-free NRC.
For the last thirty years, the State and Centre has been indulging in a blame game over non-implementation of some clauses of the Assam Accord - like fencing the Indo-Bangladesh border, providing constitutiol, legislative and administrative safeguards to protect, preserve and promote the culture, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people, and freeing tribal blocks and belts and government land from encroachment.
For the next five years at least, neither the NDA government at the Centre nor the BJP-led government in the State can lay the blame at the other's door for any delay in implementing the Assam Accord in letter and spirit.
People feel if the Accord is not implemented during the tenure of Sonowal's government, it will never be implemented at all. "The AGP was in power for two terms. They could do little. This (BJP government) is the last hope," said an observer.
Sonowal, who rose from an AASU base to become a famed regiol leader, acknowledges the responsibility weighing on him.
The former AASU president said today that sealing the border with Bangladesh will be completed in two years to put an end to infiltration.
"We will work towards finishing within that time frame the border sealing work, including the riverine border," Sonowal told a news agency.
Asked about his plans to stop illegal infiltration from Bangladesh, he said, "When the fil draft of the updated tiol Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam is published, it will be clear who the citizens are, and infiltrators will get identified. The problem will get solved and action will then be taken against infiltrators as per existing law."