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Centre�s high-level panel a �political gimmick�: Cong

By STAFF REPORTER

GUWAHATI, Jan 3 - Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia today said that the Union Cabinet�s decision to approve the setting up of a high-level committee for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord was a mere political gimmick. However, the ruling BJP in the State welcomed the decision of the Union Cabinet.

�Two things have become clear from the announcement made yesterday by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, that a high-level committee will be set up for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. Firstly, the fierce opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in Assam has rattled the BJP and it is trying to hoodwink the people of Assam by means of a cynical sop some three months before the general elections. Secondly, the BJP is capable of using every cheap gimmick and insincere promise to win elections,� Saikia said.

He said that a high-level committee, with bureaucrat GK Pillai as the chief, was constituted for Assam Accord implementation around the year 2000 when the NDA headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power at the Centre.

�However, no further progress was made during Vajpayee�s five-year term. After the Narendra Modi government came to power, Rajnath Singh had announced on December 27, 2016, that Clause 6 of the Assam Accord would be implemented by the NDA government. A few months later, on April 26, 2017, the same tune was sung again following a tripartite meeting in New Delhi among the Central government, the Assam government and the leadership of the AASU. Therefore, yesterday�s flogging of the same horse can only be interpreted as a pre-poll �jumla�,� said the Leader of Opposition.

�On the whole, it appears that the BJP considers the people of Assam extremely gullible because it has come up with a new assurance at a time when the list of unfulfilled pre-election promises made in 2014 and 2016 is already quite long. Some of the unfulfilled promises and U-turns of the BJP include deportation of illegal migrants once the party came to power in Assam, non-transfer of territory to Bangladesh, grant of ST status to six communities of Assam, revival of the Nagaon and Cachar paper mills and sanction of Rs 4,500 crore for the Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation (previously Namrup Fertilizer Corporation) within 100 days of coming to power,� he said.

�Instead of making a dramatic announcement yesterday, why did the Modi and Sonowal governments not utilise the Assam Accord Implementation Department of the State government between 2016 and now to make a start in implementing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord? What is the motive behind using the term �Assamese people� in the official press release when even the Assam Legislative Assembly has not been able to arrive at a consensus regarding this definition? Will the NDA government withdraw the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which effectively nullifies the Assam Accord, before the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections?� Saikia said.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJP welcomed the decision of the Union Cabinet.

�We welcome the historic decision of the Union Cabinet with regard to Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. Many rounds of tripartite talks were held over the years among the Centre, the State and AASU. But no previous government took such a decision. This is the first time that the Union Cabinet has discussed the matter of implementation of the Assam Accord so thoroughly and in such detail,� said State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass.

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dass said that the high-level committee will be able to address issues related to constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards of the Assamese people, and for preserving and promoting the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the indigenous communities.

�It will also look into issues like political rights of the Assamese people. We have waited for decades for full implementation of the Accord. But the previous governments did not take necessary steps. We are hopeful that finally all relevant issues will be addressed in the coming time,� Dass said.

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Centre�s high-level panel a �political gimmick�: Cong

GUWAHATI, Jan 3 - Leader of Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia today said that the Union Cabinet�s decision to approve the setting up of a high-level committee for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord was a mere political gimmick. However, the ruling BJP in the State welcomed the decision of the Union Cabinet.

�Two things have become clear from the announcement made yesterday by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, that a high-level committee will be set up for implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. Firstly, the fierce opposition to the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, in Assam has rattled the BJP and it is trying to hoodwink the people of Assam by means of a cynical sop some three months before the general elections. Secondly, the BJP is capable of using every cheap gimmick and insincere promise to win elections,� Saikia said.

He said that a high-level committee, with bureaucrat GK Pillai as the chief, was constituted for Assam Accord implementation around the year 2000 when the NDA headed by Atal Bihari Vajpayee was in power at the Centre.

�However, no further progress was made during Vajpayee�s five-year term. After the Narendra Modi government came to power, Rajnath Singh had announced on December 27, 2016, that Clause 6 of the Assam Accord would be implemented by the NDA government. A few months later, on April 26, 2017, the same tune was sung again following a tripartite meeting in New Delhi among the Central government, the Assam government and the leadership of the AASU. Therefore, yesterday�s flogging of the same horse can only be interpreted as a pre-poll �jumla�,� said the Leader of Opposition.

�On the whole, it appears that the BJP considers the people of Assam extremely gullible because it has come up with a new assurance at a time when the list of unfulfilled pre-election promises made in 2014 and 2016 is already quite long. Some of the unfulfilled promises and U-turns of the BJP include deportation of illegal migrants once the party came to power in Assam, non-transfer of territory to Bangladesh, grant of ST status to six communities of Assam, revival of the Nagaon and Cachar paper mills and sanction of Rs 4,500 crore for the Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer Corporation (previously Namrup Fertilizer Corporation) within 100 days of coming to power,� he said.

�Instead of making a dramatic announcement yesterday, why did the Modi and Sonowal governments not utilise the Assam Accord Implementation Department of the State government between 2016 and now to make a start in implementing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord? What is the motive behind using the term �Assamese people� in the official press release when even the Assam Legislative Assembly has not been able to arrive at a consensus regarding this definition? Will the NDA government withdraw the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, which effectively nullifies the Assam Accord, before the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections?� Saikia said.

Meanwhile, the ruling BJP welcomed the decision of the Union Cabinet.

�We welcome the historic decision of the Union Cabinet with regard to Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. Many rounds of tripartite talks were held over the years among the Centre, the State and AASU. But no previous government took such a decision. This is the first time that the Union Cabinet has discussed the matter of implementation of the Assam Accord so thoroughly and in such detail,� said State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass.

Thanking Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Dass said that the high-level committee will be able to address issues related to constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards of the Assamese people, and for preserving and promoting the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the indigenous communities.

�It will also look into issues like political rights of the Assamese people. We have waited for decades for full implementation of the Accord. But the previous governments did not take necessary steps. We are hopeful that finally all relevant issues will be addressed in the coming time,� Dass said.

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