Narendra Modi may have left a deep impression in the minds of the people of Assam during his two-day maiden visit to the state after taking over as prime minister six months ago. But his stand on the land transfer agreement between India and Bangladesh – in which some portion of Assam land would go to the other country – have left many unhappy.
Particularly sore are the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), Asom Gana Parishad (AGP), Asom Jatiyabadi Yuva-Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) and Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSSS), all of which have hit out at Modi for allegedly changing the BJP’s stand on the issue. Modi had in a party rally here on Sunday said his government would utilize the Indo-Bangla land swap agreement to curb further infiltration from Bangladesh.
“The people of Assam clearly remember that while Narendra Modi had gone record saying he was opposed to land transfer to Bangladesh, the BJP had even called a bandh to protest the then prime minister Manmohan Singh’s pact with Hasina,” said Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) president Atul Bora. “This announcement of Modi has once again vindicated our stand that there is no basic difference between BJP and Congress in relation to their outlook on Assam,” Bora added.
The All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) on the other hand termed Modi’s latest stand on the Indo-Bangla land transfer pact as a betrayal. “The prime minister, whose party had so long opposed ttransfer of Assam’s land to Bangladesh, has openly betrayed the people of Assam. We strongly oppose his stand. Whatver portion of land India is supposed to get back from Bangladesh is also our land, whatever portion the government wants to give away to that country is also ours,” said AASU president Sankar Prasad Roy and general secretary Tapan Kumar ogoi in a statement here last evening.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti (KMSS) president Akhil Gogoi and AJYCP president Manoj Barua have also criticized the prime minister for his alleged “changed” stand on the land transfer deal with Bangladesh. “How did the prime minister forget that the BJP leaders had unfurled the national flag on those patches of land on the border which are supposed to transferred to Bangladesh?” asked AJYCP president Manoj Barua.
According to the pact, altogether 665 acres of land was under adverse possession of both countries. Assam will regain 397.5 acres of land while Bangladesh will get 267.5 acres following the land transfer agreement. The agreement is also expected to ensure demarcation and erection of fencing on the unfenced 2.86-km stretch in the Lathitilla-Dumabari sector in Karimganj district in southern Assam along the Indo-Bengal border. (ends)