New Regional Political Party to Revitalize Statehood Demand in Assam


‘Hills State Demand Council’ to Revitalize Statehood Demand

The two-day ‘National Convention for Statehood’ conveyed by erstwhile stalwart leaders of ASDC (Autonomous State Demand Committee) Dr. Jayanta Rongpi, Jotson Bey and Holiram Terang which begun yesterday at Karbi Anglong Sports Association ground concluded today. A new political party has immerged from this convention for carrying forward the statehood demand with transformed dynamism. The party has been named ‘Hills State Demand Council (HSDC).’

The three political heavyweights Dr. Jayanta Rongpi, Jotson Bey and Holiram Terang expressed inevitability for a strong regional might for reviving the statehood campaign. In the convention, the new party has adopted seven resolutions without mentioning whether the stipulation will be for a detached state outside the geographical limits of Assam or an autonomous state on the basis of Article 244(A) of Indian Constitution. The other resolution includes demand for CBI enquiry to probe alleged 3000 crores graft committed by Congress ruled Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council and arrest of present Hills Area Development Minister Khorsing Engti for taking 4% commission in the thousand crore same of Dima Hasao district.

The new party has squarely blamed the Congress party for eroding the existing autonomy of the KAAC and the political right of hill people achieved through signing of Memorandum of Understanding in 1995. The new party has also vehemently disapprove of the BJP for going back on its commitment made during election.

The leaders of the fragmented political parties after consecutive poll debacle in past decade have once again united meticulously weighing up political moment in time; at a time when centre right has made way for the rightist. “It was only natural for the Congress to succumb to its own politics of appeasement to the communal forces. It was expected that the decade of dynastic rule sustained by corruption can end in such a fashion as spectacular as the rise of Modi” said one of the convenor ahead of the open session on the issue of statehood demand.

The convention was conveyed basically to combine the forces of former ASDC which was rechristened as HSDP (Hills State Democratic Party) and the CPI (ML) few years back, both the parties after the split have practically failed to keep its support base intact. The once robust regional party as expected shoot out toxin against both Congress and BJP in their bid to garner support from the lost ground.

The convention leaders have claimed that since 1951 when the autonomous region was created the only substantially fruitful agreement inked between Central and State Government and ASDC-CPI (ML) and its allies in 1995 is the Memorandum of Understanding, as it has been approved by parliament and state legislative assembly.

All subsequent agreements signed between any agitating group like the UPDS (United Peoples Democratic Solidarity) in 2011 is lacking endorsement of government, the leaders have also claimed that the Assam Government which has always remained as a stumbling block in the autonomy movement of the peoples of the hills and are presently running the affairs of Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council by proxy and presides over the loot of public money with impunity.

The old guards have pointed out that the hard earned additional power of 1995 is being nullified by Assam Government applying draconian commandments such as TET, SIU, PIU etc. to make the 6th Schedule ineffectual and redundant.

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in Assam, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora of Assam, and the things that affect them.