Noted Assam filmmaker Jahnu Barua at a public rally in Tinsukia on Monday

Tinsukia: The people of Assam have to demonstrate every time to press for their genuine demands because our leaders are weak, quick enough to toe the Delhi line to appease their masters, ignoring the people of Assam.

This bold statement was made by eminent Assamese film director and international awardee Jahnu Barua, who joined the ‘Gana Hunkar’ anti-CAA protest at Bordubi in Assam’s Tinsukia district, giving the ongoing state-wide protests a shot in the arm.

All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), which is spearheading the state-wide protests, organised the meeting with support from 30 organisations and local people at Bordubi Higher Secondary School field.

“Since my school days till now I have participated in so many aandolans. During school days, we launched agitation for bridge over Brahmaputra. Then we agitated for Assamese language, then to sending back Bangladeshis,” said Barua.

“Our leaders are weak. They bow down before Delhi leadership sidelining the interests of Assamese people,” Barua said, adding: “I stay in Mumbai now. Had it been Maharashtra, could the central leaders force any law on the people of Maharashtra? No, because their leaders are strong and would not let that happen.”

Lashing out at BJP with all guns blazing, Barua said that the state government is giving rice at Re 1 per kg. “Is it even possible? It is a clear attempt to lure your votes. They are precious and should not go to such party on such allurement,” he said.

Earlier last year, state finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma tweeted, “Along with HCM @sarbanandsonwal happy to launch our flagship program ANNA, as announced in #AssamBudget2019. Rice at Rs 1/kg will be distributed from 1st March to about 2.5 cr families. Budget allocation for #ANNA this year is Rs 330 cr. A matter of great joy.”

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Under the Affordable Nutrition & Nourishment Assistance (ANNA) Yojana, Sarma had said then that the government will provide rice at a subsidised rate of Re 1 per kg instead of Rs 3 per kg to strengthen food security for 53 lakh households in the state. “Rice will also be given free-of-cost to four lakh families living in tea garden areas while 2 kg of sugar per month will be given to the families of tea garden workers,” he had said.

Bordubi belt is surrounded by many villages and dominated by tea community.

Although the gathering was thin compared to recent such meeting held at various places in Upper Assam, but the momentum of the meeting was high.

“BJP, at the Centre and in the state, could sell sour mangoes only once, not always. They have forgotten their pre-poll promise made in 2014. The people of Assam have to teach them a lesson in 2021 elections, Gauhati high court lawyer and social activist Arup Borborah said while addressing the gathering.

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