Protests over nomination of Sanjay Singh from Assam to RS
Guwahati, January 29
[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he nomination of Sanjay Singh, Lok Sabha MP from Sultanpur in Uttar Pradesh, as Congress candidate for the Rajya Sabha seat from Assam has sparked protests across the state with various civil organisations and political parties opposing his candidature.
Krishak Mukti Sangram Samiti, AASU, Brihattar Asomiya Yuba Morcha, the Biswajit Ray faction of All Koch-Rajbongshi Student Union (AKRSU), among others have decried Singh’s nomination terming it as a betrayal of the people of Assam by not selecting a local person as an outsider cannot solve the state’s problems.KMSS activists held a demonstration today in the hotel where Singh is staying and shouted slogans asking him to go back and that he will not be acceptable to the people.
The All Assam Students’ Union strongly criticising the Congress for nominating Singh as its candidate and burnt the effigies across the state of Singh, Congress president Sonia
Gandhi, AICC vice president Rahul Gandhi, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and APCC president Bhubaneswar Kalita.
“Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi have insulted the people of Assam by imposing Sanjay Singh who has no connection with the state. Tarun Gogoi and Kalita by accepting him have also insulted the people of Assam,” claimed AASU adviser Dr Samujjal Bhattacharya before the media.
“When all other states refused to accept Singh as their representative in the Rajya Sabha, Gogoi and Kalita accepted him going against the interest of the people of Assam,” Bhattacharya alleged.
“The Congress decision to nominate Singh who hails from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh is bizarre and shocking. Singh has been imposed on Assam when he has no connection with the state, its people, culture, heritage, politics,” Bhattacharya asserted.
“We demand 100 per cent reservation of the Parliament seats from Assam for the indigenous people. Assam will not be allowed to be a dumping ground for politicians from other parts of the country”, Bhattacharya stated.
Bhattacharya pointed out the AASU has been demanding that all the seats from Assam in Parliament, Assembly and local bodies be kept reserved for indigenous people of the state.
Criticising Gogoi and Kalita, the AASU leader said, “they did not oppose when Assam’s land was given away to Bangladesh or Singh was imposed. To keep his post, Gogoi will go to any length”.
Manmohan Singh started his political career as a Rajya Sabha member from Assam to become Prime Minister never took any initiative to solve the burning problems of the state, he said, adding there is no chance of Sanjay Singh doing something worthwhile for the state.
“As a mark of protest we are burning their effigies today. Tomorrow we will take out their ‘funeral procession’ throughout the state,” said AASU president Sankar Prasad Rai.
The Brihattar Asomiya Yuba Morcha in protest demonstrated before the Assembly here yesterday when Singh was filing his nomination papers and also burnt his effigy along with Gogoi and Kalita’s in Tinsukia district.
Opposing Singh’s nomination, AKRSU president Biswajit Ray termed it as “unfortunate and we are ashamed of it. Gogoi by accepting Singh’s candidature has proved that he has no responsibility towards the ethnic communities”.
“At a time when the various ethnic groups in the state are agitating to separate from Assam for self-determination, Gogoi and Congress in the interest of keeping them united with the state should have nominated a candidate from among them,” Rai told PTI today.
“It is unfortunate that then Chief minister Hiteswar Saikia brought Manmohan Singh to be Rajya Sabha representative of Assam 23 years ago, today Tarun Gogoi has brought Sanjay Singh. Both denied representation of indigenous ethnic communities and only used them as vote bank”.
Meanwhile, the opposition BJP, AGP and AIUDF protesting the Congress nomination have put up a combined RS candidate, prominent journalist and critic Haidar Hussain.
Nomination of four RS
candidates found valid
The nomination papers of all four candidates for elections to three Rajya Sabha seats from Assam were found valid during scrutiny today.
The nomination papers of two sitting members – Congress Assam unit President Bhubaneswar Kalita and Bodo Peoples’ Front (BPF) member Biswajit Daimary — along with the other Congress nominee Sanjay Singh and combined opposition candidate Haidar Hussain were found valid, Assam assembly Principal Secretary G P Das said.
Kalita, a three-time Rajya Sabha member, and Lok Sabha Congress MP from Sultanpur Sanjay Singh had filed their nomination papers yesterday while Congress supported BPF candidate Daimary had filed the papers on January 27.
In a rare show of unity, three opposition parties of the state assembly — BJP, Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) — came together to nominate noted journalist Haidar Hussain as the fourth candidate who filed his papers on the last day of nominations yesterday.
The last day of withdrawal of nomination papers is January 31.
Elections for the three seats would be held on February 7 and the entire election process shall be completed by February 10. The current term of sitting members Kalita, Daimary and AGP’s Birendra Prasad Baishya ends on April nine.
There are seven Rajya Sabha Seats from Assam with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also representing the state in the Upper House.