Guwahati, Oct 26: Five months after coming to power in Assam, the BJP-led state government has come under fire from several Bodo groups over the demand for a separate Bodoland state. While the Bodo groups allege the government was not paying heed to their demands, some Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leaders, who are partners in the government in Dispur, have been critical over the alleged failure of the Bharatiya Janata Party over non-fulfilment of pre-poll promises.
The People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM), a conglomeration of several Bodo and non-Bodo organisations in Assam, has already resumed its agitation to press the state government on their demand for a separate state. “The BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014 on its promises of statehood to smaller ethnic groups demanding separate states. However, two years have passed since the formation of National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre and nothing has been done,” said All Bodo Students Union (ABSU) President Promod Bodo.
“The government is not paying heed to our demands. The BJP had assured of the demands before the Assam assembly elections also but nothing has been done,” he said. Pro-talk faction of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), who has been in ceasefire agreement with the government, also rued the situation.
NDFB faction’s General Secretary Gobinda Basumatary said the creation of Bodoland was included in the BJP election manifesto in 2014 Lok Sabha polls. “However, nothing was done to fulfil the longstanding demand even when the party came to power at the Centre,” Basumatary said.
Basumatary said the BJP had assured of resolving all insurgency-related problems in the northeast within six months in case it came to power, but nothing was done. Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) leader and former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta criticised the BJP’s alleged move granting citizenship to the Hindus from Bangladesh through the Citizenship Amendment Bill, 2016.
“The BJP’s move to grant citizenship to minorities from Bangladesh will be a gross violation of the historic Assam Accord signed in 1985, ” said Mahanta. The Accord, which is a national commitment, makes it clear that illegal immigrants, who had entered Assam after March 24, 1971, would have to be detected and deported,” he added.