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Demand for Bengali candidate for RS polls

Guwahati, Jan. 22: The All Assam Bengali Yuba Chatra Federation today demanded a Bengali representative from the Brahmaputra valley in Rajya Sabha who can address their grievances.

The president of the federation, Kamal Choudhury, told reporters today that they would give a “fitting reply” to the Congress in the Lok Sabha elections, if someone from their community does not get representation in the Upper House of Parliament.

“Only a Bengali representative from the Brahmaputra valley would address our grievances. The Bengali MPs from Barak valley do not bother about Bengalis living in the Brahmaputra valley,” he said.

Chowdhury said the federation would organise a huge convention at Hauli in Barpeta on February 2, where they would discuss the “continuous harassment” the Bengali-speaking people were facing in the BTAD and the government’s apathy to solving their problem.

According to Chowdhury, the killing of a few Bengalis recently by NDFB (S) militants shows how the community was being harassed. “The law and order situation has broken down in Assam and Bengalis are not safe in the BTAD. People from our community are facing the constant threat of extortion and abduction.” Khagen Baishya, working president of the federation, said political leaders, student organisations and various Bengali organisations have been invited for the convention with the hope that the grievances of Bengalis in Assam would reach a wider audience. The central executive of the federation will meet before the convention. Baishya said the event would create an influence on the Congress while nominating their Rajya Sabha representative.

On the other hand, Avijit Mazumdar, vice-chairman of the trade and commerce cell of Assam Congress and Anjali Sengupta, associate professor in the Bengali department of RG Baruah College here, demanded their nomination as Congress candidates.

The last date for filing of nominations to three Rajya Sabha seats that have fallen vacant in Assam is January 28. The nominations will be scrutinised on January 29 and the last date for withdrawal of candidature is January 31. The voting will take place on February 7 and counting conducted in the evening.


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