The police fired in Nowgong to disperse a crowd of agitators who had gathered to picket government offices as part of the mass satyagraha on the foreigners’ issue. A bus conductor of the Assam State Transport Corporation, who was injured in the firing, was admitted to hospital. Nowgong, with Sadiya and Golaghat were earlier scenes of police lathi charges and teargassing in which many people were injured, according to reports received here. Today was the tenth day of a 13-day state-wide satyagraha the AASU and AAGSP have organised to protest against the central government’s alleged indifference to solving the 15-month-old foreigners’ problem.
Talks hopes dim
Chances for early resumption of talks on the complex issue of foreign nationals are considered dim in view of the rigid stand taken by the Assam agitation leaders. The Home Ministry does not seem to be in a mood to take any new initiative to break the deadlock or to send a formal invitation to the AASU and AAGSP to come here for discussions. Official sources pointed out that the Home Minister Zail Singh had clearly conveyed his invitation to the leaders to discuss the problem with him without any precondition being put by either side. This should be taken as a formal invitation and there was no need to send another. Though the AASU and AAGSP have initially rejected the Centre’s offer, Home Ministry sources hope that better sense would prevail.
BJP on poverty
The basic thrust of the economic policy draft of the BJP is to lift those below the poverty line, the number of which is mounting with completion of every five-year plan. According to the framers of the draft, the main objective was to launch a war against poverty. Briefing newsmen, Kanwarlal Gupta, convener of the committee set up to prepare the draft, said the economic draft envisages a blend of Gandhian socialism, Loknayak’s antyodaya and Deen Dayal Upadhaya’s “integral humanism.”