If Hindi-speaking and other non-tribal residents of Karbi Anglong and North Cachar Hills are worried about a restrictive land policy adopted by the Congress,then tribal communities across these districts want roti,kapda and makaan.
When NREGA was announced,we felt very happy. We thought we will no longer have to trek miles to the towns to sell our vegetables and fruits. We heard that we will get 100 days assured work every year and that too at Rs 77 per day. But everything is almost a big zero now, rued Jabanika Hasnu,a Dimasa tribal woman who travelled for four hours to listen to L K Advani speak here.
But she was disappointed too. Advani,it seems,does not know that NREGS is a big farce. It is only benefiting those who owe allegiance to a particular political party, she said,wondering aloud why local leaders did not tell Advani about this.
Some of us have acquired job cards after a lot of fighting. I paid Rs 50 to get a passbook. But those with job cards hardly got 10 to 20 days of work, said Charita Maramsa,part of a womens group from Mohendijua.
The Public Distribution System (PDS) is a joke. They give us only 20 kg of rice instead of the 35 kg in the BPL card. Blue kerosene meant for supply under the PDS at Rs 10 per litre is available in the open market at Rs 25, said Ajit Jigdu,a tribal priest. Rongsing Kro,a Karbi youth from Langsoliet,is desperate for a job. I have studied up to Class XII. But even for a peons job,they ask for Rs 50,000. I want a government that will eradicate corruption and provide jobs, he said.
At least three sets of militant groups in the two hill districts are thriving on extortion. As a result,development funds are going into their hands at the cost of national projects.