The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Thursday accused state chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal of “lacking in courage” to ask the Centre to reveal the contents of the Framework Agreement that New Delhi had signed with the NSCN(IM) in August 2015, and said it feared that considerable territory belonging to Assam would get included in Nagaland as per the agreement.
“While the Modi government has not made public the contents of the Framework Agreement it had signed with the NSCN(IM) on August 3, 2015. Sonowal’s BJP-led government too has not made its stand clear on the issue. Going by media reports and certain developments along the inter-state border, we have serious apprehension that a sizeable portion of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh’s territory will get included in Nagaland once the Agreement comes into force,” APCC president Ripun Bora said.
Bora also accused Assam chief minister Sonowal of “lacking in courage” to ask the Centre to make the Agreement’s contents public. “Sonowal is lacking in courage to even ask the Centre what the Agreement contains. The chief minister also rejected the Congress demand for a special session of the Assembly to discuss the issue,” the Pradesh Congress president, in a statement issued here said.
The Congress leader said that while it was the previous NDA government that had extended the ceasefire with NSCN(IM) to Assam and other adjoining states, Sonowal had not taken a strong stand in defending the state’s territory. “The Congress has reasons to believe that Sonowal, who had come to power on the promise of protecting jati-mati-bheti of the people of Assam, would not hesitate to compromise on the issue of defending the state’s territory from being included in Nagaland,” Bora alleged.
The APCC on Thursday also announced a series of agitational programmes from November 10 to protest any move to include Assam’s territory in NSCN(IM)’s proposed ‘Greater Nagalim.’ While a protest meeting would be held in the APCC head office here on the first day, the Congress would also hold rallies in the border towns of Merapani, Mariani and Sonari in three Assam districts that share boundary with Nagaland in the following days.
Sonowal however has already said that Union home minister Rajnath Singh has assured him that there was no threat to Assam’s territorial integrity. “The Union home minister has assured me that the territory of Assam will not be affected under any circumstances,” Sonowal had said on October 25 after a meeting with Rajnath Singh in the national capital.