Guwahati, Nov. 22: The floundering Congress-BPF ruling alliance took another hit today with the Assam PCC taking exception to BPF chief Hagrama Mohilary’s statement questioning the locus standi of AICC general secretary in-charge of Assam Digvijaya Singh.
Reacting to observations Singh made a couple of days back at two party-level meetings that the BPF should help the government by submitting a list of illegal migrants settled in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District (BTAD), Hagrama had questioned Singh’s locus standi in asking for the list.
The Congress expressed its displeasure through a news conference convened by Assam PCC’s media department chairperson Haren Das this afternoon.
“Despite our respect for him as a valued ally, the tone, tenor and content of Mohilary’s statement against Digvijayaji is unbecoming of the position he is holding. It will only create misunderstanding and compound the problem at hand. Digvijaya Singh is not only the in-charge of Assam Congress, of which BPF is an ally, but also a former chief minister and a national-level party leader. Singh was only seeking help from the BPF to restore peace,” Das said.
Congress spokesperson Mehdi Alam Bora told reporters at the meet that the foreigners issue would have to be dealt with through foreigners tribunals and not by burning houses and killing innocent people. “Being landless does not mean one is a foreigner,” he said, responding to the BPF’s assertion of checking land documents before those displaced in the July riots were rehabilitated.
Assam governor J.B. Patnaik today directed director-general of police Jayanta Narayan Choudhury to conduct house-to-house search to recover illegal arms and take strict action against offenders under provisions of the IPC and the Arms Act.
He also insisted, after a meeting with Choudhury and chief secretary N.K. Das, on immediate formation of peace committees in villages so that the people who have returned or would return to their homes could work in peace. He also instructed the chief secretary to ensure establishment of panchayati raj in the BTAD so that the process of development in the rural areas could be expedited.
Today’s developments indicate that the Congress is fine with any decision the BPF takes on the alliance, which was shaken to its core with the arrest of a BPF leader with arms, withdrawal of excess security guards allotted to BPF leaders and intensification of the drive to recover illegal arms in the Bodo belt.