GUWAHATI, March 25 - Full implementation of the Assam Accord, safeguards for the indigenous people of the State, declaring the State�s flood and erosion problem as a national problem, employment generation and development will be among the major poll issues of the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) in the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls.
The NDA constituent will contest the coming elections by primarily focusing on State specific issues. �AGP will come out with its own separate manifesto through which we will highlight issues concerning the State and reiterate our commitment of protecting the interests and aspirations of the people of Assam. While it is true that the Lok Sabha elections are considered a national affair, being a regional party, we will focus on State-specific issues in our poll campaign,� Manoj Saikia, general secretary of AGP, told The Assam Tribune.
Saikia said implementation of all the clauses of the historic Assam Accord is the main issue for the party.
�We want the Accord to be implemented in toto. In our campaign, we will raise the matter of the ongoing NRC update in a major way. We want an error-free NRC. We are committed to an NRC in which the name of not even a single foreign national gets included. In addition, we also want complete sealing of the India-Bangladesh border and detection and deportation of illegal immigrants,� he said.
The AGP leader added that the regional party remains committed against the passing of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, despite its renewal of alliance with the BJP.
He said the party will highlight the perennial flood and erosion problem of Assam. �We want the flood and erosion problem of Assam to be declared as a national problem,� Saikia said.
He added that economic issues like employment generation and asset creation will figure in the list of the party�s election agenda.
�Development of Assam will be a major election issue for us. Employment generation is a big challenge for Assam. We want preference to be given for recruitment of local youths in Central government departments and undertakings like banks, the railways and insurance companies. In addition, our party is committed to do everything for the development of higher and technical education in the State so that our students do not have to go outside for quality education. The safety and security of our youths and students residing outside the State is also a major issue which will be highlighted by our party,� said Saikia.
AGP will take up the matter of promoting skill development of the younger generation and call for setting up vocational training centres across all the 126 Legislative Assembly Constituency (LAC) segments of Assam. Saikia said AGP remains committed to maintaining its distinct identity and ideology, despite the renewal of its alliance with the BJP.
The AGP leader exuded confidence that notwithstanding the recent controversy over the Citizenship Bill and its return to the NDA fold, the ruling alliance will do well in the Lok Sabha polls. �We are confident of emerging victorious in all the three seats from which we are going to contest,� he said.
BJP, the senior partner in the ruling alliance, is contesting from 10 out of the 14 Lok Sabha seats in Assam. While the AGP has been allotted three (Kaliabor, Barpeta and Dhubri) constituencies, another alliance partner BPF has been given one seat (Kokrajhar).