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Citizenship nod to Bangla refugees decried

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 20 � Lambasting the Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for the citizenship nod to a section of Bangladesh refugees, public activist Professor Deven Dutta has termed the State cabinet decision as suicidal.

�The government has taken an unthinkable and treacherous decision which would bring doom to the indigenous people of Assam. I believe that the Assamese community, particularly the indigenous tribal people would not survive in Assam, once this decision is implemented,� Prof Dutta told The Assam Tribune.

Terming this proposal as the next level of vote-bank politics, Dutta said that this decision would bypass the secular structure of Indian Constitution.

�All the political parties are seen compromising on their ideologies due to the vote bank politics. The vast difference between the speeches of BJP leaders during the pre and post election period is another example of this. Neither Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi nor External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj uttered a single word against cross border infiltration. Both the leaders gave fiery speeches against illegal migration from Bangladesh ahead of the Lok Sabha elections,� said Dutta.

Expressing concern at the �crisis of ideology� in the political parties, he said that the stand of AIUDF and CPM on the illegal migrants is known to all and Congress and BJP have also showed their true colours. �The AGP, which was voted to power on this ground, also failed miserably to secure the future of the Assamese people. I believe that all these political parties should merge to form a government in favour of illegal Bangladeshi migrants,� he added.

On the other hand, criticizing the Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) for its lackadaisical attitude towards collection of urban tax from the citizens, Prof Dutta today said willing and honest citizens in particular have been hit hard by the authorities� apathy.

Prof Dutta said that following computerization of the collection system and outsourcing of the exercise to private firms, there had been frequent shortage of forms for which willing citizens were not in a position to pay taxes despite visiting the offices concerned time and again.

�When the matter was taken up with the GMC authorities, no convincing explanation was given. And the due date for paying urban tax is about to expire,� he said.

Prof Dutta also questioned the GMC�s role in facilitating a streamlined garbage disposal system for the city, as many areas had been witnessing accumulation of large amounts of municipal waste on roadsides and in drains.

�The Ramky group has now been relieved of the task of garbage collection after it made a mess of everything. Some NGOs have been given the responsibility but they, too, are doing an unsatisfactory job, as the much-publicized house-to-house garbage collection has not been undertaken in many places,� he said.

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