Modi’s announcement on ‘Land Swap Deal’ sparks wide protests in Assam

  • Digambar Patowary/ HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, Guwahati
  • Updated: Dec 02, 2014 21:07 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement during his two-day visit to Assam that the BJP led NDA government would go ahead with the land transfer deal signed by the previous government with Bangladesh has triggered wide protest across the state.

In all district headquarters, effigy of the Prime Minister was brunt in protest against BJP’s sudden U- turn over the Indo- Bangla Land Swap deal.

In the Parliamentary Standing Committee report submitted by Shashi Thaoor in the Lok Sabha and Karan Singh in Rajya Sabha, it has been clear that Assam would not stand to gain any land in the deal, with the state set to lose 268.39 acres of land. If the deal materializes then both Dhubri and Karimganj district would have to cede these lands to Bangladesh.

On November 30 last , in a rally of party workers at Guwahati, Modi announced that to the illegal migration from Bangladesh to Assam , the Land Swap deal with Bangladesh would be signed and added that it would paved the ways for blocking all the routes for illegal migration from Bangladesh to the country.

During Congress led UPA II regime, BJP had opposed the Land Swap Bill in Parliament and in last Lok Sabha’s BJP election rally in the state, stalwarts of the party including Modi assured people of the state that if come to power it would conceal the scope for Assam’s land cede in deal.

The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) has accused the Prime Minister of maintaining double standards, while the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) staged protests across the state against the deal. In many places, Mod’s effigies burnt by people in protest against the U- turn on the Land Swap deal.

The AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said that govt. should ratify the Land Swap Deal such that there would be no cede of Assam land to Bangladesh. “We wanted a Congress alternative govt. at Centre. BJP led govt. was formed which had assured people of Assam that there would be no cede of Assam land in any deal with Bangladesh. Now, the Prime Minister started saying that his govt. will go ahead with Indo- Bangla Land Swap deal. The move of govt. will compel us for launching a new movement”, said Bhattacharya.

AGP president Atul Bora alleged that the Prime Minister and his party betrayed the people of Assam on the issue. “In last Lok Sabha election rallies of BJP in the state, Narendra Modi and other senior leaders of the party had opposed the deal. After assuming power, BJP has changed its stand within six months, which exposed the double standard of the BJP”, said Bora.

To oppose the Land Swap Bill, the BJP had called for an Assam bandh and leaders of the party hoisted the national flag at the Indo – Bangla border.

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