RANGAGORA (DHEKIAJULI), March 10 � Coming down heavily on the anti-people activities of the ruling Congress Government in the State and the BJP Government at the Centre, peasant leader, Akhil Gogoi on Monday said that the Assamese people are day-by-day losing their rights upon their own resources like minerals, tea leaves, coal, oil etc., produced in the region.
Gogoi who was addressing a mammoth gathering in the open session of the first biennial conference of the Sonitpur district committee, KMSS held with a two-day-long programme at Rangagora, a remote rural area near Dhekiajuli in Sonitpur district since Sunday, vehemently criticised the Chief Minister of rampant corruption and massive deterioration of the law-and-order situation in the region during his regime. He further stated that the KMSS is ready to face any consequences in the interest of saving the resources of the region from the hand of the outsiders and is firm in giving a bold fight against the corruption which has plagued the State�s economy during the Congress rule.
Demanding amendment of the Seventh Schedule of the Constitution to protect the rights to natural resources for the people of Assam, he said that the Centre has curtailed all rights of the people on natural resources on the basis of the Seventh Schedule. �As royalty on oil, Assam gets only Rs 560 against every Rs 20,000 worth of crude oil explored, while the Centre receives Rs 1,425 as tax. This oil resource is again in the hands of companies and not under the Central Government. So, companies on behalf of the Centre, are exploiting the people of Assam and depriving them of their legitimate share of profit for decades,� he alleged. He also said that it is high time for the people of the region to raise their voice and fight against the discrimination in various other aspects, including erosion and issuing of land pattas.
Touching upon the issue of amendment to the Assam Land and Revenue Act, 1886, Akhil alleged that a large section of farmers are still deprived of their basic rights on the land. The Government has curtailed the rights of the people on the land by categorising various land holdings, he added. �A farmer�s family needs at least 12 bighas to sustain itself, but in Assam, the average farming land figures are dismal.� He added that around 28 per cent farmers have no land while 32 per cent have only 3.5 bighas. So, a majority of the farmers hardly have any land for cultivation, compelling them to become labourers. Saying that between 1954 and 2001, seven per cent land (4.5 lakh hectares) has been eroded in Assam, displacing over three lakh people, he urged the people to come forward to demand land pattas, protection of land from erosion and reclaim the land already eroded.
Terming every political party of the region as corrupt and lacking vision to serve the people in the real sense of the term, he said that people�s consciousness in this regard and raising of their voices, is an urgent need of the time. In the two-day-long programme, a new body was formed taking Prasanta Baisya as president who presided over the open session. Senior advocate of Gauhati High Court, Prem Sarma, Gyasuddin Ahmed, social worker and the Principal of Dhekiajuli Junior College were also present among others in the meeting.