The Telegraph
Sunday , March 30 , 2014
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Governance focus in manifesto

- Call for Jorhat-Majuli link, women’s safety and health facilities

Jorhat, March 29: Two civil society organisations, Women in Governance, Assam, and Jorhat Nagorik Manch, in consultation with about 150 people from various walks of life, have prepared a Jorhat people’s manifesto for the political parties.

The major demands of the people include solving issues of conflict, democracy and good governance.

The manifesto wants parties to give due importance to the border conflict between Assam and Nagaland and solve it through political dialogue between both states and repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

Another demand is that if elected MPs fail to perform, the people would have the right to recall them and elect a suitable person in their place. Further, an act should be passed wherein it would be compulsory for the elected representative to visit their constituency every three months and interact face-to-face with the people.

The manifesto calls for a policy to check corruption in Assam through a transparent monitoring system like a social audit in every department and make the MP accountable for it.

On the judiciary, the manifesto sought reforms like giving the district court jurisdiction on verdicts relating to Article 21 (right to life) of the Constitution.

The manifesto also refers to construction of a bridge connecting Jorhat and the river island of Majuli in order to improve the communication network so that farmers can transport their produce to the mainland and do not have to depend on middlemen who often cheat them on prices.

“A bridge between Nimatighat in Jorhat and Kamalabarighat in Majuli will ensure socio-economic development of the island,” the manifesto said. It also said a special programme should be taken up to develop Majuli and serious efforts made to save the river island from erosion and floods. A plea to give land pattas (documents) to those living in border areas, rehabilitation scheme for those residing on embankments and a strict enforcement of the law to prohibit sale of agricultural land to industrialists.

The manifesto also asked parties to ensure 50 per cent reservation for women and a proper rehabilitation scheme for women victims and for those forced to migrate owing to violence. Arsenic and iron-free water supply, health infrastructure with latest technology and specialised doctors, a special transport facility at discounted rates for students from rural areas, housing rights for tea garden labourers, development of Jorhat as a tourist hub and a scheme to set up cold storages were among the other demands.

Poll awareness

Students of the Centre for Studies of Journalism and Mass Communication, Dibrugarh University, performed street plays at various places in Dibrugarh today to raise awareness on the process of electioneering and the right to exercise one’s franchise.

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