Hailing the signing of the Bodo Peace Accord, Prime Minister Narendra Modi Friday said that a new dawn of “permanent peace” has arrived in Assam.
“Nobody addressed issues of North-East and allowed disturbances to continue; this approach distanced people of region and they lost faith in the Constitution. The North-East was once considered a recipient state but now it is a growth engine” said PM Modi while addressing a rally in Assam’s Kokrajhar to celebrate the Bodo Peace Accord. This was Modi’s first visit to Assam, which has been roiled by protests over the new citizenship law.
Express Explained: Takeaways from Bodo Accord
Last week, the Centre signed a tripartite agreement with the state government and different Bodo groups, including four factions of the National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB), for a “permanent” solution to the Bodo issue. Bodos are the single largest community among the notified Scheduled Tribes in Assam and BJP has a stronghold on large sections of the Bodos. The Assamese-speaking community had voted overwhelmingly for the BJP in 2016.
— BJP (@BJP4India) February 7, 2020
Terming the signing of the Accord as a win for all communities, Modi said the agreements signed in 1993 and 2003 could not bring permanent peace in Bodo Territorial Autonomous District (BTAD). “There is no demand left with the signing of this Bodo Accord,” he added.
The Prime Minister also appealed to extremists in the North-East, militants in Jammu and Kashmir and the Maoists to “take inspiration from Bodo insurgents and return to the mainstream”.
Assuaging the fears of people over the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), Modi said, “Canard is being spread that lakhs of settlers will come from other countries after the enactment of CAA. Nothing of that sort will happen.”
He further said his party will not allow violence to return. “It is time to implement Clause 6 of Assam Accord, Centre will work expeditiously once the report is submitted,” he said.
Part of the Assam Accord that came at the culmination of a movement against immigration from Bangladesh, Clause 6 reads: “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people.” For recognition as citizens, the Accord sets March 24, 1971 as the cutoff.
“The North-East was under the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act but now Tripura and many parts of other states are free from it,” Modi said.
The Prime Minister said that the combined central allocation to the eight states of the region went up to a staggering Rs 3 lakh crore under the 14th Finance Commission after his government was formed, from Rs 90,000 crore under the 13th Finance Commission.
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