GUWAHATI: After the recent meeting with Union Home Minister Amit Shah on CAB (Citizenship Amendment Bill) in New Delhi, AGP (Asom Gana Parishad) president Atul Bora hinted that the party would accept the new form of CAB as the Union Home Minister had reportedly assured them that Clause 6 of the Assam Accord will be implemented. However following Bora’s broad hint, the regional party faced lots of criticism. The AGP on Thursday held their legislature parties meet here, and slightly altered its tune with respect to the party’s stand on the CAB and also the Clause 6 of Assam Accord. Addressing the media after the meet, AGP working president and Minister (Water Resources, IT & Archaeology) Keshab Mahanta stated that the AGP has intimated Shah in writing about the following resolutions:
“Prior to passing the CAB in the Parliament, the Government of India must provide the Constitutional safeguards to Assam as enshrined in Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. For the last 35 years after the signing of the Assam Accord, we have been talking of Constitutional safeguards but the people of Assam have not yet enjoyed these safeguards.”
The Centre had recently constituted a High-Level Committee on the implementation of Clause 6.
He added, “The people of Assam fear threats to their culture, language, and identity, and hence demand seat reservation in the Assembly and the Parliament.
“Of the total 126 Assembly seats, 100 must be reserved for the indigenous people. A similar step must be initiated in all the seats belonging to Assam for the Lok Sabha and the Rajya Sabha as well.”
For Assam, there are 14 Lok Sabha and seven Rajya Sabha seats.
He further said that “there must be seat reservation for the indigenous people of the State in all the local bodies and government jobs in Assam.”
He also said that the Centre must initiate steps for providing ST (Scheduled Tribe) status to six communities of the State, namely the Chutias, Motoks, Morans, Koch-Rajbongshis, Tai-Ahoms and tea tribes.
Mentionably, Prafulla Kumar Mahanta — a key signatory of the Assam Accord signed in the midnight of August 14 1985, the founder president of AGP and former State Chief Minister — was not present during the party’s legislature meet on Thursday. Mahanta strongly opposes the CAB.