Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Sunday asserted that illegal migrants are not coming to Assam and grabbing land of indigenous people.
Speaking at a Sankalp Samaroh (resolution rally) at Khanikar in Upper Assam’s Dibrugarh district, he said: “Some organisations are spreading false propaganda that Bangladeshis will come and grab the land of indigenous people. They are creating chaos, confusion and rift in society by spreading false propaganda. They should stop such activities. We are for indigenous people. In 2016, our government came to power to work for the development of indigenous people of Assam. Under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership, we are committed to work for the development of all communities.”
Nearly 1.5 lakh people from Dibrugarh, Tinsukia, Sivasagar, Jorhat, Charaideo and Dhemaji districts participated in the rally.
“Our sankalp is the development of Assam and we are committed to work for it. We have to focus on ‘work culture’ because only through work culture the development of Assam is possible and not by agitation. We have to create a healthy environment in all educational institutions so that a student can imbibe true education,” Sonowal said.
The chief minister said they did not “believe in divide and rule, which was advocated by the earlier Congress government”. “The central and state governments are taking up many development schemes but for their proper implementation the people have to play a proactive role,” he said.
State finance and education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “I am thrilled to see the huge gathering. We will win 100 seats in the 2021 Assembly election because the people are with development. During the anti-CAA movement, some organisations have tried to create chaos by spreading false rumours against the government.”
People at the Sankalp Samaroh at Khanikar field in Dibrugarh on Sunday. Picture by UB Photos
Coming down heavily on the ongoing anti-CAA protests, Sarma said these protests are politically motivated. “The anti-CAA protesters forced the BJP workers to quit panchayats and the party so they can acquire power. They threatened them if they didn’t quit, they will protest at their residences. The anti-CAA protesters burnt down the house of Chabua MLA Binod Hazarika. It’s a conspiracy against us a section of people trying to create unrest in Assam. In the name of protest, some people are committing violence and damaging public property,” he said.
“After our government came to power, we are working for the development of Assam and implemented many schemes. Our government’s main aim is development. Today, we should take oath to form the government again after the 2021 elections,” he added.
State BJP president Ranjeet Kumar Dass, AGP president and agriculture minister Atul Bora, Union minister of state for food processing industries Rameswar Teli, Lakhimpur MP Pradan Baruah, Jorhat MP Topon Kumar Gogoi and legislators from all Upper Assam districts participated in the rally.
The BJP organised the rally to show its strength and counter the anti-CAA movement in Assam. The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) had challenged the BJP to hold a rally in Upper Assam, which has witnessed huge protests against the citizenship law.
Hunger strike ends
AASU activists, who were on a 30-hour hunger strike against CAA in Upper Assam’s Dhemaji district from 8am on Saturday, ended their fast at 3pm on Sunday.
AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said, “We will intensify our anti-CAA movement after the exams. We will not be cowed down by the BJP government, which is trying to impose CAA in Assam. Assam is not a dumping ground for illegal Bangladeshis. We will continue to oppose CAA till it is scrapped. The law is against the secular fabric of the Constitution.”
“The BJP government has violated the Assam Accord by proposing citizenship to illegal migrants who came after March 24, 1971. We would not allow the illegal migrants to live in Assam. The BJP will provide them citizenship for its political benefit. We have made it crystal clear that we will not accept any foreigner who entered the state after 1971, be it Hindu or Muslim,” he added. More than 1,000 people staged the hunger strike.
The AASU’s Teok unit showed black flags to the convoy of Atul Bora on Saturday.