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Assam dithers over Accord

New Delhi, July 14: A clause in the Assam Accord for providing economic and political safeguard to the indigenous communities of the state has been lying in the backburner as the Tarun Gogoi government was dithering over the issue.

The Centre has alleged that the modalities for the reservation of Assamese people in various elected institutions, including the state legislature, have not been completed because the state government could not “finalise” its stand.

“While an interim report was submitted by the tripartite sub-committee on Clause 6, the same could not be processed further because the Assam government is yet to finalise its stand on the definition of Assamese people and modalities for reservation for Assamese people in elected bodies and state legislature,” minister of state for home S. Regupathy told the Lok Sabha.

He was answering MP Sarbananda Sonowal. Clauses 6 and 7 of the Assam Accord, signed in 1985, deal with provisions relating to economic security and political safeguard of the Assamese people.

This was inserted in the agreement as a security for the indigenous population against the illegal migrants settled in the state.

The minister said two sub-committees, comprising representatives of the central and state governments and the All Assam Students’ Union, were formed to examine the proposals under the two clauses.

Though an interim report was submitted by the sub-committee on clause 6 (political safeguards), not much progress could be made due to inaction by the state government.

Sonowal said political considerations were preventing the state government to come up with a definition of Assamese.

“The Congress government would like to include as many Bangladeshis as possible and give them political and economic safeguard,” he added.

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