| S.K. Bwiswmuthiary
New Delhi, Aug. 27: The Centre today made it clear that it has no intention of declaring any other state except Telangana and virtually ruled out a second State Reorganisation Commission.
“There are no such proposals under consideration of the government of India at the moment,” minister of state for home R.P.N. Singh said in a written reply in Lok Sabha today, sending clear signals to protesters in Darjeeling hills and in Assam.
Singh’s straight answer was to a question from MPs S.K. Bwiswmuthiary and R. Thamaraiselvan. The MPs asked if the government proposes to create more states like Bodoland, Gorkhaland, Vidarbha, Bundelkhand and others on the lines of Telangana. They also asked if there is a proposal to set up a State Reorganisation Commission.
Sources said the A.K. Antony-led committee appointed by the Congress to look into mainly Seemandhra protests after the Telangana declaration may also take some time before sending a political signal to the home ministry.
“The cabinet note is ready but there is no signal from the committee to begin work in government,” said a government source.The Centre is also approached by states who are against more bifurcation.
Assam governor J.B. Patnaik called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Parliament today. Patnaik is understood to have emphasised in his meeting that the Assam government is against further division of the state. The same sentiment was earlier expressed by chief minister Tarun Gogoi when he met the Prime Minister this month.
Singh’s answer comes days before groups of Bodos, Karbis, Koch-Rajbongshis and Dimasa representatives are scheduled to hold talks with the Centre from September 2. The most vocal protests after the Telangana declaration by the Congress Working Committee on July 30 have been in Assam.
Singh’s flat answer comes days before the ministry of home affairs has lined up a host of Assam-based groups who are demanding statehood. Whereas the Centre has made it clear that it will not give in to new state demands, the agitating groups that include students, militants and elected representatives insist that if there is Telangana there have to be other new states as well.
Plea on talks
Elected representatives of Assam’s two hill district autonomous councils have requested New Delhi to include them as a party for the upcoming tripartite talks on the statehood issue.
Council members have floated a new platform — Joint Coordination Committee for Separate State recently and submitted a plea to the Prime Minister’s office through Karbi Anglong deputy commissioner Prasanta Kumar Buragohain. Earlier, 13 Karbi organisations including local NSUI unit floated Joint Action Committee for Autonomous State (JACAS). The organisation was later called for discussion on the statehood issue scheduled on September 2. Till now JACAS is the only organisation from the two hill districts of Assam which has been called for talks.
The two chief executive members of the councils — Debojit Thaosen and Jayram Engleng — want to lead a team of 58 elected representatives who will place the demand for a separate state before the government.
“We met the Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi and requested them for talks. Naturally, we have now pray to them to fix a date as they assured us a discussion on our demand,” said Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council’s chief executive member Jayram Engleng. Deputy commissioner Buragohain today said the prayer from the elected representatives were accepted and later forwarded to New Delhi for consideration. “We have forwarded the prayer to the right place and the final decision will be taken by the government. We have received 14 prayers from various organisations expressing their willingness to be parties, ” Buragohain said.