Unhappy with govt reply on Assam Accord, Cong stages walkout in assembly
The Congress on Wednesday staged a walkout in the Assam Assembly, expressing dissatisfaction over the government's reply on implementation of the Assam Accord
The Congress on Wednesday staged a walkout in the Assam Assembly, expressing dissatisfaction over the government's reply on implementation of the Assam Accord.
Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia had put forth the question about the progress of implementation of the Accord, which was signed in August 1985 after an anti-foreigner movement.
Saikia wanted to know the year for determination of illegal immigrants in the state, pointing that the Accord specified the deadline as March 25, 1971, while the Citizenship (Amendment) Act sets it for December 31, 2014.
Implementation of Assam Accord Minister Atul Bora, evading a direct reply, said, "The CAA is under the central government, we cannot respond to it.".
Questioning the Congress' sincerity in implementing the Accord, as the party was in power for a long time after it was signed, Bora said, "Saikia should ask his own 'bibek' (consciousness) and his party headquarters.".
The minister asserted that the state government is serious about implementing the Accord, including Clause 6, which promises constitutional safeguards for indigenous people in various aspects.
"A sub-committee formed to take the matter forward has held four rounds of talks, and after two-three more rounds, we are hopeful of a final agreement," he added.
Congress MLA Jakir Hussain Sikdar later again raised the issue of the cut-off date for identification of illegal foreigners in the state, and Bora maintained that the party had no right to pose queries on the Accord.
Dissatisfied with the reply, the Congress MLAs walked out of the House.
As they moved out, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pijush Hazarika also raised doubts over Congress' forthrightness towards the Accord.
"As president of Youth Congress for seven years, I had attended all top meetings. The Accord was never discussed once," he claimed.
A six-year agitation demanding identification and deportation of illegal immigrants was launched by the All Assam Students' Union (AASU) in 1979. It had culminated with the signing of the Assam Accord on August 15, 1985, in the presence of the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.
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