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BJP not treating tea tribes as vote bank: Himanta
Staff Correspondent
 JORHAT, Oct 17 - Health and Family Welfare, Education, Finance and PWD Minister, Dr Himanta Biswa Sarma on Friday again raised the issue of threat posed to the ancient Assamese civilisation and culture practised by the native people of the State from a particular group of people residing mostly in lower, central, northern and southern areas (Barak Valley) of Assam. He also praised the tea tribes of Assam for working hard to make Assam Tea a world famous brand asserting at the same time that the BJP was not treating the community as a vote bank.

 The Minister, while speaking at the second and concluding day of the two-day executive meet of State Tea Morcha of Assam Pradesh BJP at the Shree Shree Pitambar Devagoswami Auditorium of the District Library here, stated that those people residing in the said areas of the State were identified by a particular culture and civilisation that they have started.

Sarma said that 35 per cent of the total population of Assam residing in those areas (above-mentioned) of Assam were identified by a particular kind of cultural practices and the same was a threat to the ancient culture and civilisation of the State.

Stating that divisions prevailing in the Assamese society in the name of different groups and communities and also due to classifications made as indigenous and non-indigenous, Sarma said the process of formation of a strong Assamese society had not succeeded.

Blaming a section of the intellectuals for creating and promoting divisions in the Assamese society, the Minister voiced his apprehension that the 65 per cent comprising native people of Assam, if remained divided like in the present times, will be losing all their rights like political, cultural, societal and others in the coming times.

He pointed out that the particular group of people who developed a new culture and civilization, has remained united and grew in numbers from 27 per cent to 35 per cent of Assam’s population in the past 15 years.

He said that it was high time for the native people to do away with the divisions among them and come together to save their culture and heritage.

He said that BJP was for uniting together all native tribes and groups to form a strong Assamese society and was pledge-bound to defeat the “divisive forces” that were coming in the way binding the Assamese society and making it stronger.

In this regard, Sarma took a dig at the Congress and AIUDF for practising the politics of division in the society. He asked the BJP party workers to work hard and take a pledge to prevent Ajmal culture taking over Dispur.

Lamenting the fact that the tea workers who have toiled much and contributed towards the development of economy of the State significantly for which Assam tea as a brand was known worldwide, the Minister said they (tea tribes) had not yet been properly assimilated in the Assamese society. He urged all sections of the society to regard tea tribes as proud Assamese people.

Stating that BJP was not treating the tea tribes as a vote-bank, he said that a series of welfare measures for the uplift of tea workers was initiated by the BJP-led Governments at the Centre and in Assam since the party came to power. Sarma said that such initiatives will be continuing.

He also spoke about reserving seats for students of tea workers’ community in colleges located in areas having dominant tea tribes population.

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