DIBRUGARH, April 2 - Israil Nanda, one of the Independent candidates for the Dibrugarh Lok Sabha constituency, said if elected to power, he would fight for scheduled tribe (ST) status to the Ahom, Mottock, Moran, Chutia, Koch Rajbonsgi and TE communities of Assam and also oppose the Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB), 2016.
�These two issues hold key to the development of the region. If the six communities are granted ST status, the land, identity, culture, language, literature and all rights of the indigenous communities of the State will be protected like the rest of the tribal groups. Similarly, if the CAB is withdrawn, the fear of indigenous communities becoming a minority will vanish. Our rights will be protected. My slogan is simple: Jati Bachao, Desh Bachao. It is purely regionalism versus nationalism,� he told The Assam Tribune.
If elected, he would put stress on establishing new industries in the region, revitalising Brahmaputra Valley Fertilizer and Corporation Limited (BVFCL), starting the coal-based power project at Ledo, wage hike of the tea garden workers, converting the plantations into tourist hubs, creating avenues for employment and navigable waterways for increased inland water transport, etc.
Nanda is widely popular in Tinsukia district and has a considerable support base in the constituency. He had earlier contested as an AGP candidate from Tinsukia in 2006 but was unsuccessful. This time, he has gained support from Communist Party of India (CPI), Asom Sangrami Mancha (ASM), Shiv Sena and the newly formed Adivasi National Party, Assam (ANPA). With such a support base, Nanda is hopeful that he could emerge a winner.