|Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi addresses the news conference in Guwahati on Tuesday. Picture by UB Photos
Guwahati, Sept. 10: The Assam government will urge the Centre to provide asylum to Bangladeshi nationals who had migrated to the state because of religious persecution in the neighbouring country.
Chief minister Tarun Gogoi today said the state government would move the Centre with a proposal requesting it to give asylum to citizens of Bangladesh who were compelled to migrate to India because of religious persecution or other harassment.
“We feel that their case should be considered on humanitarian grounds,” he said.
The chief minister said it is up to the Centre to decide whether they should get refugee status or citizenship.
Contrary to the government’s stand, organisations such as AASU are demanding deportation of all illegal migrants from Bangladesh who have come to Assam after March 24, 1971, which is the cut-off date for deporting foreigners as incorporated in the 1985 Assam Accord.
Lashing out at the BJP, the chief minister said development in the state today is much more than what it was when the BJP-led NDA government was in power at the Centre.
He said Assam has got much more central assistance during the UPA regime compared to what it had got during the NDA rule.
“By December this year we will publish performance reports highlighting the development that took place in the state under the UPA government and during the NDA’s rule at the Centre so that the people can see for themselves which party did more for Assam,” he said.
Lashing out at Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi, Gogoi said he wants to see Rahul Gandhi as the next Prime Minister of the country.
He gave credit to Rahul for important schemes like Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA), Right to Education Act, Food Security Act, and the like.
He said Modi stands for capitalists and industrialists and is least bothered about the uplift of the poor and downtrodden sections of society.
Gogoi said Modi is giving incentives and concessions to industrialists and big companies and not to the poor.
He said despite Assam being a poorer state than Gujarat, the per capita debt burden in Assam was Rs 18,792 crore compared to Rs 1,38,987 crore in Gujarat in 2012-13.
“Assam has allocated 19 per cent of its annual budget for education whereas in Gujarat it is 15.9 per cent. Under MNREGA, Assam is paying minimum wage of Rs 152 while it is Rs 147 in Gujarat,” the chief minister said.
On the ongoing controversy over inclusion of villages in the autonomous council areas, he said there is bound to be conflict of interests but it should be resolved amicably.
He said the Centre should provide funds to the development councils in the state since the state government has been unable to provide adequate funds to these councils because of financial constraints.
The chief minister also said the next rounds of talks with the NDFB (Progressive) would be held in Delhi on Thursday.
Asked about the case registered against Congress MLA from Mariani, Rupjyoti Kurmi, for allegedly assaulting a police driver, Gogoi said, “Investigation is on and the law will take its own course.”