Assam: Indigenous Assamese to get 98 reserved seats approx after delimitation

GUWAHATI | Updated: 01 January, 2024 8:03 pm IST
Assam Chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma

GUWAHATI: Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma applauded the state’s delimitation exercise as its greatest achievement during a press meet at Lok Sewa Bhawan in Guwahati.

Sarma noted that out of the 126 assembly seats, a substantial 96-98 seats were now exclusively designated for Assamese residents who have been residing for centuries. This decision ensures that only those with a deep-rooted connection to the state can contest and win in these specific constituencies, he emphasised.

In addition to this, the Assam CM highlighted that Barak Valley would have eight seats specifically reserved for Indigenous people, bringing the total count of seats for them to 106 in Barak.

Expressing gratitude to the Election Commission, Sarma stated that the move was a significant step towards safeguarding the interests of the indigenous population.

Further, the issue of Madrassa was raised by the Assam CM.

Government Madrassas have already been converted into state government general schools, but the Assam government has further decided to streamline privately run Madrassas.

“Private Madrassas are protected by the Consitution of India. However, the education department is discussing and probably we will be able to reduce 1000 private Madrassas in the days to come as we are in negotiation with Private Madrassa Institutions,” stated the Chief Minister.

Further, the Assam CM stated that the socio-economic census for the Assam Muslim communities is ongoing. “Among the Muslim communities, there are five Assamese Muslim communities. We have earmarked their houses and areas, where Assamese Muslims are living,” said Himanta Biswa Sarma.

The Chief Minister also linked the delimitation outcomes to the ULFA Accord, asserting that the principles established in 2023 would guide future delimitation processes.

He reiterated two critical points from the accord; firstly, that citizens cannot switch constituencies or districts, and must be permanent residents by owning land in their voting region. Secondly, the Accord ensures that a voter can only participate in elections within their original constituency, preventing changes from one constituency to another.

Citing examples, he pointed out that as per the ULFA Accord, a 5 km radius around Barpeta Satra is off-limits for land purchase, demonstrating the commitment to preserving indigenous territories.

 

On the issue of peace accords being signed with the banned outfit, the CM stated that 11 peace accords had been signed in 2023 and majorly all outfits have joined the mainstream except the ULFA(I) led by Paresh Baruah.

While addressing the senior journalists in Guwahati on New Year’s Eve, Sarma said, “I do converse with Paresh Baruah in 3-6 months interval..even now I am thinking to speak with him in next 6-7 days…previously no Assam CM spoke with Baruah but now I call him directly to know his views.”

The State government has asked for total withdrawal of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), but the Centre has certain reservations in a few area. However, the Assam CM has been hopeful that the Act will be revoked from the remaining districts in due time.
Sarma also launched 200 EV buses to function across Guwahati to ward off air pollution in the state’s capital.

ALSO READ: ULFA, Centre, Assam govt to sign tripartite peace pact

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