New Delhi: With no mention of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) in its manifesto, the BJP has decided to put the highly contentious law on the backburner for now. While releasing the manifesto ahead of the Assam Assembly polls, BJP president JP Nadda highlighted 10 commitments that will help Assam take the next ‘big leap’ in the coming five years.
From providing three lakh jobs to the youth, financial support to namgarhs and ‘correct National Register of Citizens for Assam’s protection, solving the issue of recurring floods in the northeastern is the other main agenda of the saffron party.
Congress on the other hand Congress has promised five lakh government jobs and assured that the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) will not be implemented in the state.
Here are the five core issues for Assam in 2021 Assembly Elections:
Floods in Assam
Assam has a long history of floods. Both, natural as well as man-made factors have been responsible for this problem.
The 1950 earthquake made the Brahmaputra more unstable thereby leading to heavy soil erosion on its path. The earthquake not only changed the region’s topography but also made the Brahmaputra valley prone to a yearly deluge.
Around 40 per cent of Assam geographical area is prone to damage by floods. To protect the state from this annual calamity, successive state governments invested heavily in building embankments on rivers.
While building embankments worked but it also led to disaster in other areas.
Assam requires an integrated approach by the Centre and State when it comes to floods.
Both the BJP and Congress have talked about the flood problem in their manifesto.
The grand old party has said demand will be raised to allocate a separate budget for floods along with a separate organization to oversee the flood situation.
The BJP has sought five more years to make the state free from flood.
Under, ‘Mission Brahmaputra’, the saffron party plans to save the people from the impact of floods and it would do this by building big reservoirs around Bramhaputra to conserve extra water to save the people from floods.
General (Retired) Srinivas Kumar Sinha in his report ‘Illegal Migration into Assam’ to President K R Narayanan in 1998 said that large scale illegal migration from Bangladesh over several decades has altered the demographic complexion of Assam.
“It poses a grave threat both to the identity of the Assamese people and to our national security. Successive governments at the Centre and in the State have not adequately met this challenge,” he had said.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh while campaigning in Assam said the BJP, if voted to power, will not allow infiltrators from Bangladesh to reside in the strategically crucial northeastern state.
“BJP government has set up electronic surveillance across the Indo-Bangla border in Assam to stop infiltration from the neighbouring country. Assamese culture and identity will be protected,” ANI quoted the Defence Minister as saying.
Himanta Biswa Sarma recently said it’s not possible to fight an election in Assam by focusing on development alone and called the issue of identity extremely crucial and real.
On the other hand, Congress has accused the BJP of welcoming illegal immigrants to poll-bound Assam by enacting the CAA.
The grand old party has also talked about identifying illegal immigrants making it a core issue this time.
Assam’s tea community plays a crucial role in 40 of Assam’s 126 Assembly seats. In a bid to woo them, Congress and the BJP promised higher daily wages.
Congress leader and former party president Rahul Gandhi, during his recent visit to Assam, promised that his party would provide a daily wage of Rs 365 for tea workers.
Over 850 big tea gardens are present in Assam and the state contributes more than 51 per cent of India’s total tea production.
In a relief for the BJP ahead of the assembly polls, the Assam cabinet decided to increase the daily wage of tea garden workers by ₹50 from ₹167 to ₹217.
This might help the saffron party in the polls but the Congress has termed this hike as betrayal with MP Gaurav Gogoi saying the BJP promised to raise the daily wage of tea workers to ₹351 and after five years increased it to ₹220 only.
Battle for protecting Assam’s ‘Asmita’
Like Himanta said, that elections in Assam cannot be fought on the plank of development alone, the saffron party leaders have tactfully shifted their focus towards illegal migration and ensuring peace in the state as these two issues are something Assamese voter would agree upon.
The battle to protect Assam’s ‘Asmita’ (pride and identity) is been fought between the BJP and the Congress and as of now, the saffron party has the upper hand.
Elections for the 126-seat Assam Legislative Assembly will take place in three phases from March 27 to April 6 and the results will be announced on May 2.
Courtesy – Timesnownews