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Groups slam Rahul silence

Bongaigaon, Feb. 26: Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s silence on granting ST status to Koch-Rajbongshis at a party rally yesterday has drawn flak from several organisations belonging to different communities in the state.

The general secretary of the Hiteswar Barman faction of the All Koch-Rajbongshi Student’s Union (AKRSU), Troilokya Ray, said Rahul’s silence on Scheduled Tribe status and separate statehood issues at yesterday’s rally reflected the escapist attitude of the Congress.

Amid the 36-hour Assam strike continuing from yesterday, the students’ group burnt the effigy of chief minister Tarun Gogoi at Barpara here today. They were protesting Gogoi’s comparison of Rahul with Koch-Rajbongshi hero Bir Chilarai at the rally.

Adivasi National Convention spokesperson Birsing Munda said Rahul Gandhi in his speech did not present a clear party policy on the Scheduled Tribe issue. Munda said the Centre has deprived ethnic groups in the state of their constitutional rights.

The All BTAD Minority Student’s Union (ABMSU) general secretary Lafiqul Islam said, “Eyeing Lok Sabha seats in Assam, the ‘selfish Congress party’ organised the rally to cheat the people and we would give the Congress a befitting reply in the polls.”

AASU’s Bongaigaon district unit president Chandan Medhi said Rahul Gandhi did not touch the core issues of the state in his address, which conveyed a message of negligence by the party to the people of Assam.

Bongaigaon district unit president of the Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad, Brajen Baruah, said the Congress has been using the state as a “colony” for political gain, hence the party leaders are not bothered about its burning issues and this was exposed through Rahul’s speech yesterday.

Biswajit Ray, president of another group of the AKRSU, said in the name of ruling the country, the Congress is exploiting the masses and Rahul’s speech was its clear reflection.

Except ABMSU, the organisations did not slam Narendra Modi for avoiding burning issues of the state in his speech during his visit to Assam. They said Modi is not the leader of the ruling party, therefore, his comments do not have much importance unlike Congress leaders.

AGP president Prafulla Mahanta today said Rahul had forgotten the promises his father had given to the people through the Assam Accord.