Jitendra Singh, the All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary and party in-charge of the Assam assembly polls, launched the ‘5 Guarantee’ yatra in Barak Valley and met with the educated unemployed youths, housewives and traders during his Silchar visit.
While answering a question about the Congress party’s stand on Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), he said, “The party’s stand on the CAA is the same everywhere, be it Brahmaputra Valley or Barak Valley. If our party comes to power again, we will scrap the CAA because it is not capable of granting citizenship to persecuted migrants.”
Barak Valley leaders were comparatively less vocal against the CAA in the past and some of them supported it with a few amendments. Sushmita Dev, President of All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) and a former MP, had said she wanted persecuted migrants to get justice, hence, she favours such a law. But in the present form, CAA is unable to help anyone. So she wanted some amendments, especially the inclusion of Muslim migrants.
When Rahul Gandhi visited Assam, he announced that Congress would scrap the CAA if voted to power. This had made Congress leaders in Barak Valley uncomfortable. Right-wing groups strongly opposed it and also burnt the effigies of Rahul Gandhi. Later, Priyanka Gandhi said the same during her visit to the state.
However, local Congress leaders have not responded yet to Jitendra Singh’s comments.
Singh also said that apart from GST, Barak Valley people pay two additional taxes: the Sarbananda and Himanta tax. He blamed the BJP leadership for allegedly taking share from the food syndicate, which, according to him, is one of the reasons behind the additional price hike. He met the wholesale product sellers of Farak Bazaar in Silchar. While interacting with educated unemployed youths, he assured them of reservations in the third- and fourth-grade jobs in government sectors for Barak Valley.