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Cong joins Mancha protest

Guwahati, March 6: Janagosthiyo Oikya Mancha today wrote to Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal expressing "great displeasure" regarding the "extreme negligence and negative attitude" of the Centre and the state government to its demand for ST status.

The Mancha organised a protest at Last Gate in Dispur. Opposition leader Debabrata Saikia and three Congress MLAs - Rupjyoti Kurmi (Mariani), Durga Bhumij (Doomdooma) and Roselina Tirkey (Sarupathar) were present. "We have joined the representatives of the six communities today to show our solidarity to their demand. The BJP government at the Centre has been dilly dallying the process of according ST status to these communities. It formed the Mahesh Kumar Singla committee on the issue, which is yet to submit its report," said Saikia.

The Mancha said Saikia should raise the demand in the Assam Assembly on Friday. It felt that the assurance of a "favourable solution" of its problem, declared during the 2014 Lok Sabha election by the BJP, was "false".

With today's protest, the six communities have re-launched their agitation in support of their ST status demand. They suspended their protest following the Centre's creation of the Singla committee, which is yet to submit its report even after extending the submission date four times.

The decision to re-launch the agitation was taken by the executive body of the Mancha on February 23 in Guwahati after coming to know from Assam chief secretary V.K. Pipersenia that the report of the Singla committee was not yet ready.


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