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Parties decry Centre�s silence for 5 months

By PRANJAL BHUYAN
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GUWAHATI, Aug 12 - Complimenting the AASU for making public the report of the high level committee on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, major opposition parties of the State today accused the government and the ruling BJP of lacking commitment to deal with the issue.

�The report of the committee was kept under wraps for five months. (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah had assured that action would be taken within one week of receiving the report. But for five long months the Centre did not bother even to clarify whether it has accepted the report or not. We thank AASU for making the report public. They (AASU) have fulfilled their responsibility,� former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

He alleged that there is lack of commitment on the part of the government.

�The Central and the State governments have lost all credibility in the eyes of the people of Assam. How can Clause 6 or the Assam Accord itself be implemented without scrapping of the CAA? I believe that the government has no intention to implement Clause 6,� said the senior Congress leader.

Regarding the committee�s recommendations on the vexed issue of definition of Assamese people for giving Constitutional protection and of the date of January 1, 1951, for that purpose, Gogoi said, �The committee has given a definition of Assamese people by encompassing all sections of society. I want to say that it has my support. But we will need to fix a mechanism so that there is no controversy regarding questions like, who all had come to Assam before 1951. We also will have to ensure that the recommendations given are valid from the legal point and are as per the Constitution.�

With regard to reservation for the locals, Gogoi said that one has to keep in mind the fact that the Supreme Court has categorically stated that it cannot cross the 50 per cent threshold.

�But I do have some reservations on the issue of introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system... There is a need to discuss this point in detail,� said the former Chief Minister.

The Left has also welcomed AASU�s action of making the report public.

�Regarding definition of the Assamese people, our party has been saying for long that all those who were in the State in 1951, irrespective of caste, language and religion, should be included. At the same time, there is need for reservation for locals in elected bodies and in jobs, but it should be as per the Constitution,� CPI Assam State Council secretary Munin Mahanta said.

He accused the BJP of adopting double standards. �On the one hand they are keen to implement the CAA and on the other hand they talk of Clause 6. This shows the ruling party�s duplicity. It is five months since the committee submitted the report but there has been no response from the Central government. This shows that BJP is not at all interested in tackling the issue,� Mahanta added.

The AIUDF also accused the government of acting in a contradictory fashion. �The aim of the BJP is to weaken the anti-CAA movement. On the one hand the government talks of implementing Clause 6 and on the other, it wants to bring Hindu Bangladeshis. The Hindu Bangladeshis are already enjoying all political, social and economic rights in that country. Now, if Clause 6 is implemented and there are reservation and land rights only for locals, what will happen to the Hindu Bangladeshis who may have come to Assam between 1971 and 2014? Will they not be deprived even of the right to contest elections, buy land and apply for jobs? This proves that BJP is doing everything only for votes,� said AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam.

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Parties decry Centre�s silence for 5 months

GUWAHATI, Aug 12 - Complimenting the AASU for making public the report of the high level committee on Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, major opposition parties of the State today accused the government and the ruling BJP of lacking commitment to deal with the issue.

�The report of the committee was kept under wraps for five months. (Union Home Minister) Amit Shah had assured that action would be taken within one week of receiving the report. But for five long months the Centre did not bother even to clarify whether it has accepted the report or not. We thank AASU for making the report public. They (AASU) have fulfilled their responsibility,� former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said.

He alleged that there is lack of commitment on the part of the government.

�The Central and the State governments have lost all credibility in the eyes of the people of Assam. How can Clause 6 or the Assam Accord itself be implemented without scrapping of the CAA? I believe that the government has no intention to implement Clause 6,� said the senior Congress leader.

Regarding the committee�s recommendations on the vexed issue of definition of Assamese people for giving Constitutional protection and of the date of January 1, 1951, for that purpose, Gogoi said, �The committee has given a definition of Assamese people by encompassing all sections of society. I want to say that it has my support. But we will need to fix a mechanism so that there is no controversy regarding questions like, who all had come to Assam before 1951. We also will have to ensure that the recommendations given are valid from the legal point and are as per the Constitution.�

With regard to reservation for the locals, Gogoi said that one has to keep in mind the fact that the Supreme Court has categorically stated that it cannot cross the 50 per cent threshold.

�But I do have some reservations on the issue of introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system... There is a need to discuss this point in detail,� said the former Chief Minister.

The Left has also welcomed AASU�s action of making the report public.

�Regarding definition of the Assamese people, our party has been saying for long that all those who were in the State in 1951, irrespective of caste, language and religion, should be included. At the same time, there is need for reservation for locals in elected bodies and in jobs, but it should be as per the Constitution,� CPI Assam State Council secretary Munin Mahanta said.

He accused the BJP of adopting double standards. �On the one hand they are keen to implement the CAA and on the other hand they talk of Clause 6. This shows the ruling party�s duplicity. It is five months since the committee submitted the report but there has been no response from the Central government. This shows that BJP is not at all interested in tackling the issue,� Mahanta added.

The AIUDF also accused the government of acting in a contradictory fashion. �The aim of the BJP is to weaken the anti-CAA movement. On the one hand the government talks of implementing Clause 6 and on the other, it wants to bring Hindu Bangladeshis. The Hindu Bangladeshis are already enjoying all political, social and economic rights in that country. Now, if Clause 6 is implemented and there are reservation and land rights only for locals, what will happen to the Hindu Bangladeshis who may have come to Assam between 1971 and 2014? Will they not be deprived even of the right to contest elections, buy land and apply for jobs? This proves that BJP is doing everything only for votes,� said AIUDF general secretary Aminul Islam.

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