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BJP MLAs tell Sonowal: Face people, allay fears

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 19 - Facing backlash and wrath of the masses over their party�s stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, over a dozen legislators of the ruling BJP today met the Chief Minister and demanded steps for immediate implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord and for ensuring that the position of Assamese as the State language remain safe for ever.

The legislators, mostly representing constituencies of Upper Assam, also took objections to �insensitive comments� by some ministers in recent months which have inflamed passions among sections of people, including mid-day meal employees, and ASHA and Anganwadi workers.

The group of legislators, led by Sootea MLA Padma Hazarika, first met at the official residence of Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan at Dispur. Later they drove to the Brahmaputra Guest House at Kharghuli to meet Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Coming out after the meeting, Hazarika said that in recent days many ruling party legislators have been �deliberately targeted� by miscreants in the guise of the anti-CAA agitation.

�We exchanged views with the Chief Minister and appraised him about a few things. The CAA is now sub-judice. We will accept whatever verdict the Supreme Court gives,� Hazarika said.

He added, �We have asked the Chief Minister to face the people and speak to the point. We have asked him to tell the masses about the steps the government plans to take to safeguard the Assamese people. We have told the Chief Minister that we are with him. We have also decided to visit our respective constituencies and tell the people about these things. If anybody wants to come and hurt us, let them do so.�

The Assamese people have become apprehensive on account of some misinformation being spread by certain elements, he said. �Safeguard for the Assamese people is needed. The committee on Clause 6 has already started work... We have requested the Chief Minister to immediately implement Clause 6 to ensure constitutional safeguards for the Assamese people,� he said.

�The Cabinet should take a decision that Assamese will continue to remain the State language and no threat will ever be faced by the Assamese language. We have asked the Chief Minister to take appropriate decision to assuage the people in this regard,� Hazarika said.

He said that the existing Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities have some apprehension regarding the government�s plan to extend tribal status to six communities of the State.

The MLAs asked the Chief Minister to hold talks with representatives of the existing STs so that all misunderstandings and apprehensions can be removed.

Hazarika said that the ruling party legislators requested the Chief Minister to secure a big economic package from the Central government under Clause 7 of the Assam Accord to help unemployed youths start own enterprises and secure other self-employment avenues.

�In recent times, mid-day meal workers, ASHA workers, Anganwadi employees and specially-abled youths had hit the streets... The situation worsened due to some insensitive comments made by a few ministers. The Chief Minister and the Finance Minister should hold meetings with such associations, give them proper respect and solve their problems. We have asked the Chief Minister to intervene and ensure that nobody makes any insensitive comments,� said Hazarika.

Asked about which serving ministers they mentioned, Hazarika refused to take names.

He said that the legislators also demanded that all Grade 3 and Grade 4 posts should be filled at the constituency level by locals.

�We want an environment of peace to prevail in Assam. We request the people to have faith on us and not to doubt our love and commitment towards the Assamese community and the State. If my resignation will lead to scrapping of the CAA, then I am ready to quit... If all the people of my constituency unanimously ask me to resign, I will do so,� said Hazarika.

He appreciated AASU for carrying out a peaceful and non-violent agitation against the CAA and pointed to his own AASU background.

He also used the occasion to castigate noted actor Jatin Bora, who had recently quit the BJP and said that Bora has �no sentiment�.

Speaking on the occasion, Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan admitted that ruling party members have faced the wrath of the public over the CAA.

�We requested the Chief Minister to contact the Centre and arrive at a solution to remove the doubts of the masses,� Phukan said.

Among other BJP MLAs, Rituparna Baruah (Lahowal), Sanjoy Kishan (Tinsukia), Suren Phukan (Digboi), Jogen Mohan (Mahmora), and Ashok Singhal (Dhekiajuli), were also part of the delegation.

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BJP MLAs tell Sonowal: Face people, allay fears

GUWAHATI, Dec 19 - Facing backlash and wrath of the masses over their party�s stand on the Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, over a dozen legislators of the ruling BJP today met the Chief Minister and demanded steps for immediate implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord and for ensuring that the position of Assamese as the State language remain safe for ever.

The legislators, mostly representing constituencies of Upper Assam, also took objections to �insensitive comments� by some ministers in recent months which have inflamed passions among sections of people, including mid-day meal employees, and ASHA and Anganwadi workers.

The group of legislators, led by Sootea MLA Padma Hazarika, first met at the official residence of Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan at Dispur. Later they drove to the Brahmaputra Guest House at Kharghuli to meet Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal.

Coming out after the meeting, Hazarika said that in recent days many ruling party legislators have been �deliberately targeted� by miscreants in the guise of the anti-CAA agitation.

�We exchanged views with the Chief Minister and appraised him about a few things. The CAA is now sub-judice. We will accept whatever verdict the Supreme Court gives,� Hazarika said.

He added, �We have asked the Chief Minister to face the people and speak to the point. We have asked him to tell the masses about the steps the government plans to take to safeguard the Assamese people. We have told the Chief Minister that we are with him. We have also decided to visit our respective constituencies and tell the people about these things. If anybody wants to come and hurt us, let them do so.�

The Assamese people have become apprehensive on account of some misinformation being spread by certain elements, he said. �Safeguard for the Assamese people is needed. The committee on Clause 6 has already started work... We have requested the Chief Minister to immediately implement Clause 6 to ensure constitutional safeguards for the Assamese people,� he said.

�The Cabinet should take a decision that Assamese will continue to remain the State language and no threat will ever be faced by the Assamese language. We have asked the Chief Minister to take appropriate decision to assuage the people in this regard,� Hazarika said.

He said that the existing Scheduled Tribe (ST) communities have some apprehension regarding the government�s plan to extend tribal status to six communities of the State.

The MLAs asked the Chief Minister to hold talks with representatives of the existing STs so that all misunderstandings and apprehensions can be removed.

Hazarika said that the ruling party legislators requested the Chief Minister to secure a big economic package from the Central government under Clause 7 of the Assam Accord to help unemployed youths start own enterprises and secure other self-employment avenues.

�In recent times, mid-day meal workers, ASHA workers, Anganwadi employees and specially-abled youths had hit the streets... The situation worsened due to some insensitive comments made by a few ministers. The Chief Minister and the Finance Minister should hold meetings with such associations, give them proper respect and solve their problems. We have asked the Chief Minister to intervene and ensure that nobody makes any insensitive comments,� said Hazarika.

Asked about which serving ministers they mentioned, Hazarika refused to take names.

He said that the legislators also demanded that all Grade 3 and Grade 4 posts should be filled at the constituency level by locals.

�We want an environment of peace to prevail in Assam. We request the people to have faith on us and not to doubt our love and commitment towards the Assamese community and the State. If my resignation will lead to scrapping of the CAA, then I am ready to quit... If all the people of my constituency unanimously ask me to resign, I will do so,� said Hazarika.

He appreciated AASU for carrying out a peaceful and non-violent agitation against the CAA and pointed to his own AASU background.

He also used the occasion to castigate noted actor Jatin Bora, who had recently quit the BJP and said that Bora has �no sentiment�.

Speaking on the occasion, Dibrugarh MLA Prasanta Phukan admitted that ruling party members have faced the wrath of the public over the CAA.

�We requested the Chief Minister to contact the Centre and arrive at a solution to remove the doubts of the masses,� Phukan said.

Among other BJP MLAs, Rituparna Baruah (Lahowal), Sanjoy Kishan (Tinsukia), Suren Phukan (Digboi), Jogen Mohan (Mahmora), and Ashok Singhal (Dhekiajuli), were also part of the delegation.