GUWAHATI, Aug 13 - All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) today alleged that an attempt is being made to create divisions among the masses by using the issue of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
The Badruddin Ajmal-led party said the cut-off date of March 25, 1971, as mentioned in the Assam Accord, should be used for definition of Assamese or the indigenous people of the State.
�The Chief Minister said one thing yesterday and later Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said another. Sarma�s comments prove that the BJP is playing with the emotions of people,� AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam said at a press conference here.
He said if 1951 is used as the base year for definition of Assamese people then it could lead to fissures in society.
�What will happen to the Hindi-speaking people, the Marwaris, the Bengali Hindus and the Muslims who came to the State between 1951 and 1971? They have names in the voters lists, have jobs or their own businesses and they own properties in Assam. Can we call them non-indigenous?� he said.
Asked if AIUDF is opposing the recommendations of the high-powered committee on Clause 6, he said, �We support many points in the report. For example, we support the call for implementation of the Inner Line Permit system. We support the demand for a Cultural University. We are opposed to the reservation system.
�But, we oppose the attempt to divide the society by leaving out those who came in between 1951 and 1971. What will happen to those who entered Assam during this period? ... Will you take away their right to apply for jobs, contest polls and buy land?� he said.
He added, �There is no mention in the report as to what should be done to the land taken on lease by big tea companies or the land that has been encroached by Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh or Meghalaya... People of the undivided Goalpara district were not part of the Ahom kingdom. Won�t they be considered indigenous? What about the people of the Barak Valley? The NRC of 1951 is not available for six districts of Assam. So, how will you define indigenous or Assamese people?�
Islam pointed out that the Constitution and the Supreme Court have laid down some very strict rules regarding reservation in jobs as well as to elected bodies like Parliament and Assemblies.
�There is talk of 80 per cent or 100 per cent reservation in jobs. But, the Supreme Court has categorically said that there can�t be more than 50 per cent reservation. Those who prepared the report should have studied these angles. Many articles in the Constitution will be violated if some of recommendations of the committee regarding reservations in jobs and to elected bodies are implemented,� he added.
�Till the other day, Sarma had been saying that Clause 6 will be implemented. Now he is saying that only the Assam Assembly can define the term Assamese. Sarma was the Minister for Assam Accord Implementation for years. Why didn�t he take a step to find a definition then? ... Clause 5 is the spirit of the Assam Accord, where March 25, 1971, is clearly mentioned as the cut-off date. Now, an attempt is being made to push it back to 1951. We all have accepted the Accord and we want 1971 to be used for its implementation,� said Islam.
He alleged that the BJP wants to create a controversy over Clause 6 for political gains.
�We don�t want any more segregation among the people of Assam. We want an end to the foreigners problem,� Islam said.
Karim Uddin Barbhuiya, another general secretary of AIUDF, said, �We believe that all those who entered the State before March 25, 1971, should be considered as Assamese.�