| Absu activists on indefinite fast in Kokrajhar on Thursday. Telegraph picture |
Guwahati/Kokrajhar, Aug. 22: AICC vice-president, Rahul Gandhi, has started tapping senior party leaders from Assam for feedback and solutions on the demand for separate states at a time the All Bodo Students’ Union (Absu) started an indefinite fast from today in support of “Bodoland”.
Though it is the Centre which will take a call on the issue, the party’s feedback will assume importance while deciding for or against the demand, more so because Congress heads the coalition UPA government in Delhi, party sources said.
Rahul has been seeking regular feedback on any issue having an impact on the organisation either through a one-on-one with state leaders or in groups or through his contacts in the state, they said. The statehood issue figured prominently in an interaction with senior Assam MLA Anjan Dutta yesterday in Delhi.
“He (Rahul Gandhi) wanted to know about the statehood problem and the likely solutions. Dutta is understood to have stressed on immediate steps to resolve the grievances of the state’s influential OBC population, including according ST status to six groups from among them, and assess why people living in the autonomous district and development councils are unhappy despite the huge funding these areas have received from the government,” a source told The Telegraph.
Dutta, when contacted in Delhi, said organisational matters and the 2014 general elections where the party wants to win 12 of the 14 seats from Assam were discussed.
On August 10, AICC secretary Avinash Pande had visited Diphu after it was rocked by violence following the demand for a separate state.
Statehood seekers, however, continued to agitate in support of their demand. Absu, spearheading the separate Bodoland movement, began its indefinite hunger strike at Kokrajhar Government Higher Secondary and Multipurpose School ground while Congress delegations from Karbi Anglong and Dima Hasao districts have left for Delhi to stage dharnas there.
Besides Absu, members and representatives of the People’s Joint Action Committee for Boroland Movement (PJACBM), NDFB-P, BPPF, Dularai Boro Harimu Afat, UDPF, Kuki State Demand Committee, All Rabha Students’ Union, All Assam Tribal Sangha and the Tribal Youth League participated in the strike.
“It is the time to experiment how effective our democracy is. I think fasting is the highest form of non-violent movement propagated by Mahatma Gandhi. Now we are going to experience the sincerity of the people in power. Our life is in their hands,” Absu president Pramod Boro said.