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New government should solve Assam’s ‘identity crisis’: ULFA

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New Delhi, May 19 : As the BJP created history in Assam and is set to form its maiden government in the northeast, the pro-talks faction of the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA) has said the new government should resolve the state’s “identity crisis on a priority basis”.

The faction, which is in peace negotiations with the central government since 2010, has also sought that the new government should complete the process of updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which it says is “the only feasible solution to the illegal migrants issue, which has led to much bloodshed in the state”.

“Among the major expectations are the faster update of the NRC, which makes things clear about who are the illegal migrants in the state. Another expectation is that the government should certainly help in sealing an accord between the ULFA and the Indian government,” Sashadhar Chaudhury, a senior cadre of the ULFA faction that favours talks with the govenrment, told.

Referring to the 15 years of Tarun Gogoi-led Congress rule in the state, Chaudhury, who was formerly part of the underground movement, said: “People wanted change and to get rid of the Bangladeshi-based politics in Assam, which the new government should take care of.”

The first phase of the ambitious NRC updating process was completed some years ago, and the second one has begun. The process involves upgrading the register of 1951 by enlisting names of “genuine” Indian citizens, one of the key decisions of the tripartite talk among the Centre, the Assam government and All Assam Students Union (AASU) during the signing of Assam Accord in 1985.

“People want a government of our own people, and once the NRC comes, it will segregate the Bangladeshis from Assam,” Chaudhury told.

During its election campaign, the BJP, led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and union Home Minister Rajnath Singh, had reiterated that if the party came to power it would seal the India-Bangladesh border and tackle the issue of illegal immigrants.

Arabinda Rajkhowa, former chairman of ULFA and now the main leader of the pro-talks faction, told: “Assam faces an identity crisis. The new government has to understand that they have been given the mandate to resolve the problem in the state that has prevailed for some time now.”

“In comparison to the Gogoi regime, the new government will have to work more for the existing social problems of Assam. They have to understand that the only reason they have got the mandate is because people have faith in them, and the new government has to deliver,” Rajkhowa told over phone from Assam.

Asked if the ULFA group would try to invite Paresh Baruah for the peace negotiations through the new government, he said: “We can’t say anything about it. The only benefit we will get through the new government is that unlike earlier, it will be smooth for us to negotiates as the BJP is both in the state and the Centre.”

Raju Baruah, former deputy commander-in-chief of the underground ULFA and now part of the group’s pro-talks faction, said that the negotiations are likely to sail smoothly.

“The hurdles we were facing earlier will vanish, and an accord between the ULFA and government will soon be a reality,” Baruah told.

The Bharatiya Janata Party, in alliance with the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and Bodoland People’s Front(BPF), has gained majority in the Assam assembly polls.

India

Sixteen Opposition parties to boycott President’s address

President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on January 29.

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Ram Nath Kovind

A total of 16 Opposition parties have decided to boycott the president’s address to the joint sitting of both the Houses of Parliament in solidarity with the farmers protesting the new farm laws, senior Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad said on Thursday.

The 16 Opposition parties also demand a probe into the Centre’s role in violence on Republic Day in Delhi, said the leader of the Opposition in Rajya Sabha while speaking to the media with Congress’ chief whip in Lok Sabha, K Suresh, by his side.

The Congress on Wednesday had held Union home minister Amit Shah responsible for the violence that shook the national capital on Republic Day and said he should be sacked immediately.

The Congress had also accused the Modi government of being part of a concerted conspiracy to malign the farmers’ agitation by allowing some miscreants to enter the Red Fort complex and hoist a religious flag, in their bid to ensure that the farmers bury their demand for the repeal of the three new agri laws.

President Ram Nath Kovind would address the joint sitting of the two Houses of Parliament on January 29.

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Politics

BJP robs common to pay capitalists: Ajay Kumar Lallu

That is why the government is not making any law to guarantee a minimum support price for farmers’ crops, he added.

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Ajay Kumar Lallu

Raebareli, Jan 27 : UP Congress chief Ajay Kumar Lallu on Wednesday accused the BJP of duping common men to benefit capitalists.

Lallu made the allegation while addressing a gathering here in Harchandpur block as a part of the ‘Sangathan Srijan Abhiyaan’, a campaign aimed at strengthening the party.

“The BJP has formed the government after getting your votes but it is giving all the benefits to capitalists. The people have now understood the deceit that the BJP has subjected them to, said the UP congress chief.

The people are now ready to give the BJP a befitting reply, he added.

“Whatever we buy from the market, we give 20 to 30 per cent as tax to the government. The government does not spend any money out of the tax on the public, it spends it all on industrialists, said Lallu.

That is why the government is not making any law to guarantee a minimum support price for farmers’ crops, he added.

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Appeal to Modi govt that anti-agriculture laws be taken back immediately: Rahul Gandhi

As protesting farmers clashed with police at several places in Delhi, Gandhi said on Tuesday that violence is not the solution to any problem and sought repeal of the three farm laws in “national interest”.

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Rahul Gandhi

New Delhi, Jan 27 : A day after violence during the farmers’ tractor rally in the national capital, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi appealed to the Narendra Modi government on Wednesday to repeal, what he claimed were, “anti-agriculture” laws.

Taking to Twitter, he also shared a quote by Mahatma Gandhi — “In a gentle way, you can shake the world.”

“Once again, I appeal to the Modi government that the anti-agriculture laws be taken back immediately,” Rahul Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi.

His appeal to the government came a day after tens of thousands of farmers broke barriers to storm the national capital as their tractor parade to highlight their demand of repealing the laws dissolved into unprecedented scenes of anarchy.

Deviating from the designated route for the tractor parade, protesting farmers also hoisted flags from some domes as well as the flagpole at the Red Fort, the centrepiece of India’s Independence Day celebrations, to hoist the Nisan Sahib, the Sikh religious flag.

As protesting farmers clashed with police at several places in Delhi, Gandhi said on Tuesday that violence is not the solution to any problem and sought repeal of the three farm laws in “national interest”.

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