The Telegraph
Saturday , April 12 , 2014
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Parties skip students’ meet

Guwahati, April 11: Candidates from leading political parties contesting the Lok Sabha polls from Gauhati constituency today skipped an interface with school students here to explain their plans to make the city child and youth-friendly.

The interaction, organised by Don Bosco School, Panbazar, on building child-friendly and youth-empowered Guwahati, invited all the 18 candidates contesting the polls.

However, though all the candidates initially showed a great deal of enthusiasm to participate in the interface, only candidates from Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and Trinamul finally turned up at the event.

Key contenders from Gauhati like Manas Bora (Congress), BJP sitting MP Bijoya Chakraborty, Birendra Prasad Baishya (AGP) and Gopi Nath Das (AIUDF) sent their representatives to the interface. Guwahati is going to polls on April 24.

“We were expecting to ask questions and interact directly with candidates like Bijoya Chakraborty, Manas Bora and Birendra Prasad Baishya. I was disappointed at seeing only the representatives of the candidates. Anyway I asked my question and got replies also. But the replies were not satisfactory. I am surprised how could future Gauhati MP aspirants avoid such an important event,” a student said.

Starting from rapid mass transport system for the city to nepotism in politics, students bombarded candidates and their representatives with several questions.

Responding to a question on sending good MPs to Parliament to raise issues of Assam, Alaka Sarma Desai of the AGP, who represented Baishya, said her party had been successful in producing such an MP.

“My party colleague Birendra Prasad Baishya was very active when he was a Rajya Sabha MP. Baishya could draw everyone’s attention when he raised issues related to the state, including the land-swap deal with Bangladesh,” Desai said.

Jayanta Deka of the BJP, who represented Bijoya Chakraborty, said the system of reservation in education institutions and jobs should be done away with.

Deka was responding to a question of students that reservation system has deprived many students of admission in top institutions of the country.

On the question of favouritism in politics that prevented good people from joining political parties, AAP candidate Pranjal Bordoloi said his party does not believe in nepotism and welcomed the youths to join his party.

Earlier, principal of Don Bosco School Fr. Sebastian Kuricheal welcomed the candidates and their representatives to the event.

He said the prime objective of organising the interface was to involve the younger generation in building strong and healthy public and political opinions on important issues that concern the people.