Assam Accord issue to be taken to PM: Rijiju

New Delhi, Aug 12 (IANS) The union home ministry will try to take the issue of the implementation of the Assam Accord, signed in 1985 to detect and deport illegal migrants, to the prime minister, Minister of State for Home Affairs Kiren Rijiju said on Wednesday.

“From the home ministry, I will initiate everything I can and take help from my senior (Home Minister Rajnath Singh) to bring the issue to the notice of the prime minister,” Rijiju said at a seminar here on “30 years of the Assam Accord: Issues, challenges and implementation” organised by the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU).

The Assam Accord was signed on August 15, 1985, between the Centre, the Assam government, AASU and the All Assam Gana Sangram Parishad to end a six-year-long movement in protest against illegal migration into the northeastern state by Bangladeshis.

Though the signing of the accord brought some solace to the indigenous people of the state, its implementation remained far from satisfactory and has been a bone of contention between the AASU and successive state and central governments.

Now, as the accord turns 30 on August 15, the AASU organised the two-day seminar in the national capital to bring back focus on the issue.

“Now, 30 years later, we will invite the AASU for talks on the accord’s implementation whether it be in Guwahati or New Delhi,” Rijiju said drawing all-round applause.

Wondering how the issue slipped out of the hands, the minister, who hails from the neighbouring state of Arunachal Pradesh, said: “Assam is the heart of the northeast. Assam has to be protected if the northeast is to be protected.”

He said all stakeholders were responsible for the failure in the implementation of the accord.

“All political parties should take responsibility, be it Congress, BJP or AGP (Asom Gana Parishad),” Rijiju said.

He said the AGP, which was in power for two terms in the state, also could not do anything to implement the accord.

“All these parties had leaders at the centre,” he pointed out, adding that a politician’s character was shaped by the society he or she came from.

“The Assamese society should also accept blame.”

He also said there should be unity among the people of the northeast if a solution to the festering problem was sought to be found.

“New Delhi cannot go and deliver a solution. But if the people remained united, the central government will be bound to find a solution,” he said.

On Tuesday, during the inauguration of the seminar, Rajnath Singh said he would visit Assam within this month and tour the border along with an AASU delegation.

Apart from Rijiju, former chief election commissioner H.S. Brahma and former home secretary G.K. Pillai were among a host of dignitaries who spoke in the seminar.

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