GUWAHATI, Sept 28 - Water Resources Minister Keshab Mahanta today told the Assembly that the Assam Accord, which was the fruit of the culmination of the historic six-year anti-foreigners stir, was sacrosanct for the people of Assam and under no circumstances could it � or any Clause in it � be amended.
Mahanta, who was replying on behalf of the Chief Minister to a pending private member�s resolution by Congress legislator Abdul Khaleque calling for a resolution by the House not to amend the Assam Accord in view of the Centre�s Citizenship (Amendment) Bill-2016, said that such a resolution by the Assembly was not required at the moment because the Centre had during the last tripartite talk with the State government and the All Assam Students� Union (AASU) on April 26, 2017, assured its commitment to implementing the Assam Accord in its entirety.
Moreover, he added, the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill is not yet an Act and is under review of the Joint Parliamentary Committee.
�The issue of citizenship in connection with the proposed Act should not be mixed with the Assam Accord at this moment. The Centre, the State government and the AASU had, during the tripartite meeting, reiterated their consensus decision for implementation of the Assam Accord. Let me tell the House that the State government is also fully committed to every Clause of the Assam Accord,� he said.
Khaleque withdrew his resolution following an assurance by Mahanta that the matter could be taken up on a later date as per need.
Mahanta also gave an account of the initiatives taken up by the Central government for implementing various provisions of the Assam Accord, such as sealing of the Indo-Bangladesh border, safeguarding of the cultures of the indigenous people, expediting all-round economic development of the State, etc.
�The unmanned 48-km riverine stretch of the border would be manned by the BSF through high-tech methods. Safeguarding of the cultures of the indigenous � though has not yet been effected constitutionally � are being done through other measures, like the setting up of the Sankaradev Kalakshetra, etc.,� he said.
Mahanta added that as Assam had agreed to bear the additional burden of migrants during the period from 1951-71 on humanitarian considerations, that necessitated incorporation of Clause 6 and 7 in the Assam Accord.