Independent candidate Upamanyu Hazarika during an election campaign in Guwahati Credit: EastMojo image

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Guwahati: Announcing that the Assamese people are going to be a minority in their own land by 2040, independent candidate Upamanyu Hazarika has criticised the leading political parties in the state of trying to keep their Bangladeshi vote banks intact just to be in power.

“While the Congress is trying to protect the Bangladeshi Muslims, the BJP is trying to woo the Bangladeshi Hindus. None of them is interested to make Assam free from the Bangladeshis,” said the candidate for the prestigious Gauhati Lok Sabha constituency in Assam.

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No political parties are with the indigenous people of Assam. Somebody has to stand for their protection, Hazarika added.

“Since there is no one to protect the interest of the Assamese society in Parliament, I took the decision to contest this election. It’s not about motivation, but sheer compulsion which forced me to contest. It’s only for the cause of the indigenous people,” he said.

Hazarika also reiterated his commitment that if he becomes an MP, he will be a strong and consistent voice for the indigenous population of Assam in Parliament.

Talking to the EastMojo, Hazarika, a senior advocate of the Supreme Court, who heads Prabajan Virodhi Manch, said that he has decided to contest the election seeking re-verification of the entire National Register of Citizens (NRC) exercise.

To tackle the immigration issue, Hazarika said, “The state must have a protective legislation. The immigrants, whose names have been included in the NRC, must be excluded from the list. The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill must be scrapped keeping the greater interest of the people of the region,” he said.

Hazarika, who has been demanding laws for reserving land rights and government jobs in Assam to the children of only pre-1951 residents, says re-verification of the NRC was a must to prevent illegal immigrants from becoming Indian citizens.

Attacking his opponents, the ruling BJP and the Congress party, the senior advocate said that MPs from both the parties always use the indigenous people to get their votes during elections. Once the election process is over, they forget everything.

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Meanwhile, Hazarika clearly denied all possibilities of him joining any other political party in the near future.

This year, the Gauhati parliamentary constituency will see an interesting battle with two women from two major political parties pitted against each other. The Congress is fielding noted film and television personality and entrepreneur Bobbeeta Sharma against BJP’s Queen Oja, who was a former mayor of Guwahati. Besides Oja and Sharma, another woman — Junmoni Devi Khaund — is also in the poll fray. Khaund is contesting the election as an independent candidate, just like Hazarika.

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