The ongoing Assembly elections in Assam are of vital importance to the future of this State and the survival of the Assamese community. That the all-India parties which are the primary contenders in this battle are less concerned with issues which really matter and are trying to distract voters by dwelling on extraneous considerations is deplorable and dangerous. The All Assam Students’ Union, therefore, has hit the nail on the head when it asserted that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Congress have failed to clarify their stand on the key issues concerning the people of Assam. The ruling party in the State the BJP, and its curious ‘ally’ the AGP, are guilty of diverting the people’s attention away from issues of exigent concern to the Assamese people and giving a different colour to their election campaign. For instance, they have repeatedly referred to their success in creating many lakhs of ‘beneficiaries’ who have been doled out cash payments. Not only have they placed their fate at the hustings on getting votes from these ‘beneficiaries’, but have also dangled a carrot before them, that the amount would be raised to Rs 3000 if they vote the BJP to power. They have, naturally enough, concealed the truth that the handouts have almost crippled the State’s economy.
The BJP and the Congress-AIUDF combine have also played the religious card, thereby vitiating the communal harmony that is the hallmark of Assamese society. On the other hand both the parties have downplayed realities that are taking a small socio-cultural group like the Assamese to the verge of obliteration. Illegal infiltration of foreigners from Bangladesh continue to pose a threat to the identity of the indigenous people of Assam, but the BJP appears to be more determined to implement the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), thereby legalizing lakhs of them and reducing the percentage of indigenous people, than deporting those already identified. Delhi had earlier announced that it would implement Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, but though a committee constituted by it had submitted its recommendations over a year ago, the BJP leaders have uttered not a word on this issue during their campaign. The Congress has abruptly emerged as a champion of the anti-CAA crusade, never mind that it had been five Assamese youths, and not a single Congressman, who had martyred themselves in fighting this insidious Act. The Congress has also maintained total silence on Clause 6 implementation, though this party had been signatory to the Assam Accord. It is the tragedy of the indigenous people of Assam that issues that will determine the survival of their community have had to be highlighted by the newly-formed regional parties, the Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal, who have had to confront the high-powered, high-financed campaigns of the all-India parties!