NEW DELHI, Aug 30 - Pleading for urgent steps to implement the Assam Accord in letter and spirit, the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) today urged Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh to pressure the governments in the neighbouring countries to take back their citizens.
An AGP delegation led by party president and State minister Atul Bora and comprising working president and State minister Keshab Mahanata, former chief minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta and senior leaders Brindaban Goswami, Biren Baishya, Dr Kamala Kalita, Phani Bhusan Choudhury, Ramen Kalita and Nurul Hussain, met the Union Home Minister and submitted a memorandum to him. Singh assured the delegation that he would look into their demands, Bora told this newspaper.
The Union Home Ministry is the nodal ministry for implementation of the clauses of the Assam Accord. �We, therefore, urge upon you to take appropriate steps towards the implementation of the Accord in toto,� the AGP pleaded.
Reiterating its stand that detection and deportation of illegal foreigners from Assam must not be on the basis of religion, the AGP said they oppose the proposed Central government Bill for amending the Citizenship Act, 1955. The government has brought in the amendment Bill with a view to granting citizenship to the Hindu Bangladeshis, among others.
The most important clause of the Assam Accord is Clause 6, whereby the Government of India has agreed to provide constitutional safeguard to the people of Assam, but to that effect no concrete step was taken by the previous governments. �We, therefore, urge upon you to expedite the matter in the greater interest of the people of Assam,� the regional party said.
The delegation also brought up the issue of flood and detailed the loss incurred by the State. �Every year flood and erosion cause havoc and as such we demand that flood in Assam be declared as a national problem, so that it can be dealt with effectively by the Central government,� the party argued.
Meanwhile, State Agriculture Minister Atul Bora on Tuesday called on Union Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Minister Radha Mohan Singh and reported that the value of crop damage is estimated at Rs 258 crore. Bora also urged him to advise the department concerned to release the first instalment against the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) and Bringing Green Revolution in Eastern India (BGREI).
Against the last year�s allocation of Rs 279 crore, Assam received only Rs 210 crore even after submitting all the necessary fund utilisation certificates. Bora also pleaded for increased funding under the newly launched scheme � Targeting Rice Fellow Areas for Development of Pulses and Oil Seeds from last year�s allotment of Rs 15 crore to Rs 30 crore, so as to cover more families whose sali paddy, the main crop, has been damaged in the floods.