NEW DELHI, May 14 – Sparring over the controversial Assembly election of 1983 among the Congress, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and BJP and the Chinese aggression of 1962 and development needs of Northeastern region marked the deliberation to commemorate the 60th anniversary celebration of the first sitting of the Parliament.
Several MPs from the North East participated in the discussions in both the Houses of the Parliament. Rishang Keishing, who was honoured by the Parliament along with two other surviving former MPs, also participated in the discussion.
But the discussion in the Upper House witnessed some fireworks, when Biren Baishya raked up the issue of Assembly elections of 1983. Bhubaneswar Kalita of the Congress protested Baishya’s claim that elections were imposed on the State. Ravi Shankar Prasad of BJP joined in and amidst interruptions supported Baishya’s view.
In 1983, Assembly elections were imposed on Assam. Many people were killed during these elections. Amidst interruption, he claimed that people who were declared elected had got only three per cent votes. The elections had been held against the wishes of the people of Assam.
Bhubaneswar Kalita intervened to argue that when elections are held according to the Constitution of India, they cannot be questioned.
Stating that in the last 6o years, Assam faced several serious problems, Baishya mentioned about 1962, when China had attacked India. The then Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had said a ‘goodbye’ to the people of Assam, at that time. Late Hem Barua, had fought in Parliament to protect the interests of the State, especially against the announcement made by the late Prime Minister.
Participating in the discussion, Sansuma Khunggur Bwiswmuthiary urged the Centre to take appropriate steps to increase the reservation quota meant for the SCs and STs. Likewise in the case of representation of SCs and STs in the Parliament as well as in the State Assemblies, he pleaded.
Let there be thorough discussion on each and every burning issue of this great country. “I am here since 1998. In these 14 years, I have not been given even 14 hours to speak in this august House. Talks must be held on the issues of Bodoland and Telengana,” he demanded.
In the Lok Sabha, Joseph Toppo said it was really unfortunate that we could not fulfil the dream of the Father of the Nation to eradicate poverty. He urged the Government to bring back the black money stashed away in foreign countries. This will definitely solve a lot of problems we are facing today in our country, he said.
Nagaland MP, CM Chang said what is expected of representatives of the people in the world’s largest democracy must not be brushed aside. It is imperative that we understand that the discontentment is result of the fact that the promise of democracy has not brought about positive changes in the life of every Indian, with poverty and deprivation still widespread.
It was Rishang Keishing who made a moving speech reminiscing about his first time in the Parliament way back in 1952. “We worked with a personal touch, sympathy, understanding and love for the North-Eastern States”, he said.