Guwahati: AASU chief advisor Samujjal Bhattacharya and its former president Prafulla Kumar Mahanta have slammed Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for commenting that the Assam agitation in the 80s was sponsored by RSS.
Besides strong reactions from present and past AASU leaders, others have also expressed their reservations, saying that the people of Assam had spent from their own pockets to keep the movement going.
It was the strength of the people of Assam, which kept the movement going, Assam Tribune quoted Prafulla Kumar Mahanta, former chief minister and ex-AASU president who led the six-year-long movement, was quoted as saying.
“AASU had been agitating for the implementation of a 21-point charter of demands and following the Sivasagar conference of the Union, the decision to concentrate on the foreigners’ problem was taken,” he was quoted as saying.
Criticizing Gogoi's statement, AASU chief adviser Samujjal Bhattacharya said that the “RSS had nothing to do with the mass movement”.
He said that AASU had launched the movement in support of its 21-point charter of demands in 1974, but as abnormal growth of number of voters was reported in Mangaldai parliamentary constituency byelections, the movement took a turn for the detection and deportation of foreigners in 1979.
It was a mass movement where all sections of indigenous people participated, Bhattacharya said.
Citing the AASU leader, the paper said that the Supreme Court had pointed out that Assam was facing external aggression, while, the High Court made observations that foreign nationals would become kingmakers in Assam and there is a threat of indigenous people getting reduced to minorities.
Tribune also cited former Assam Sahitya Sabha president Dr Nagen Saikia as saying, “For the first time I have heard the news that the movement was sponsored by the RSS. Not only me, I am sure that it is news for all those involved in the movement.”