Head of government-nominated panel on Assam quits

GUWAHATI/NEW DELHI: MP Bezbaruah, who used to be appointed as the top of a Centre-nominated committee to assess the implementation of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord, has declined to be a part of it, leaving the nine-member body in the lurch.

Bezbaruah is the fifth member to go away the committee. He has written to the Union home ministry on this regard. The construction comes shut at the heels of four members-- eminent litterateurs Nagen Saikia and Rong Bong Terang together with educationist Mukunda Rajbongshi and the nominee of the influential All Assam Students Union-- deciding not to be a part of the committee.

The committee used to be formed on January 6 to assess the quantum of seats to be reserved in the Assam assembly and in the native our bodies of the state for Assamese, but even so providing different safeguards.

Clause 6 of the Assam Accord states "constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people".

"I have conveyed to the home ministry that it is untenable for me to continue in the committee when the representatives of the civil society refused to be a part of the committee. Being the head of a committee, without civil society members, does not make any sense," Bezbaruah instructed PTI in New Delhi.

The former Union tourism secretary instructed a neighborhood television channel in Guwahati that after he used to be requested to be a part of the panel, he used to be "below the impact that we can make some contribution in imposing Clause 6 of the Assam Accord. But since then certain tendencies have taken position and I find no reason to proceed in the committee".

"The committee used to be for the folks of Assam and if they believe there is not any want for it, there is not any point in proceeding with it," Bezbaruah said.

"Moreover, the AASU and three other respected members have decided not to be a part of the committee and as such it has become dysfunctional ... The committee has not been accepted by the people and I also do not find any justification to continue," he said.

Saikia and Terang, each former presidents of premier literary organisation Asam Sahitya Sabha and Rajbongshi, decided to choose out of the committee bringing up reservations about its functioning following the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in the Lok Sabha.

The Bill, they said, posed a danger to Assamese tradition and id.

The All Assam Students Union (AASU), which used to be a signatory to the Assam Accord, additionally refused to be a part of the committee, saying the "BJP-led executive on the Centre formed it just 3 months forward of Lok Sabha polls to hunt votes in Assam".

Other participants of the committee include former IAS officer Subhas Das, former editor of 'The Sentinel' Dhirendra Nath Bezborua and Assam recommend general Ramesh Borpatragohain.

The joint secretary in the house ministry used to be nominated because the panel's member secretary.

Head of government-nominated panel on Assam quits Head of government-nominated panel on Assam quits Reviewed by kailash soni on January 12, 2019 Rating: 5
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