GUWAHATI, Sept 7 – Different political parties and organizations today strongly opposed the land border agreement signed between India and Bangladesh yesterday and burnt the effigies of Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for leaving Assam's land to Bangladesh.
The All Assam Students' Union (AASU) today burnt the effigies of the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister in public places in different parts of the State and threatened to intensify the movement if the agreement is not scrapped.
AASU adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the Prime Minister and the Chief Minister betrayed the people of Assam by giving away a portion of Assam's land to Bangladesh and asked whether the Government of India would be ready to give away any portion of land in Kashmir to Pakistan. He pointed out that the Government of India has not yet been able to force Bangladesh to accept the Bangladeshi nationals sought to be deported from India.
Describing Tarun Gogoi as a "spineless Chief Minister" Bhattacharya said that West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee refused to accompany the Prime Minister to Dhaka as she was against the water sharing treaty and that is why the treaty was not signed. But the Assam Chief Minister agreed to give away Assam's land. Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi saved Assam from being attached to erstwhile East Pakistan but Gogoi did not oppose handing over a portion of Assam's land to Bangladesh. The people of Assam would never forgive him for this betrayal, he added.
The Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) also burnt the effigies of the Prime Minister and Chief Minister and decided to build up a mass movement against the land border agreement.
AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary described the land border agreement as the "second Yandaboo treaty" and by accepting the agreement, Gogoi proved that he is a weak Chief Minister who does not have the courage to stand up in the interest of the State as was done by the West Bengal Chief Minister. He said that the Chief Minister failed to protect the geographical boundaries of the State and he even did not discuss the issue in Assembly or with the civil society before taking such a decision. For the first time, the Chief Minister of Assam got an opportunity to participate in a bilateral discussion between two countries and he only showed his weakness and compromised the interests of Assam, he alleged.
The AGP also alleged that a Chief Minister who failed to protect the State's land has no moral right to continue in the Chair.
The State Unit of the BJP said that yesterday was a black day in the history of Assam as a major portion of Assam's land was given away to Bangladesh.
The spokesman of the State unit of the BJP, Sarbananda Sonowal said that before signing any treaty with the neighbouring country, the Government of India should have asked Bangladesh to take back the Bangladeshi nationals staying illegally in Assam and other parts of the country. The BJP has decided to launch a mass movement demanding scrapping of the land border treaty and Sonowal said that the party would also raise the issue at the national level.
Sonowal said that the people of Assam would never forgive the Prime Minister and Assam Chief Minister. He pointed out that since Independence; the Congress was trying to hand over Assam to foreign countries. During the partition of the country, efforts were made to hand over Assam to East Pakistan, which was thwarted by Gopinath Bordoloi and during the Chinese aggression, the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru wanted to give Assam to China. But after the failures to do so, the Congress now handed over a portion of land to Bangladesh and the people of Assam would never accept the same, Sonowal said.
The hard line faction of the ULFA also opposed the agreement and said that Assam is not safe in the hands of Government of India. The ULFA, in a statement said that the Government's action once again proved that there is no alternative to sovereign Assam. The ULFA also described the Chief Minister as a "puppet" in the hands of the Government of India.