Himanta Biswa Sarma
Assam minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. | File image Credit: EastMojo image

Guwahati: Clearing the air on the much anticipated high-powered committee report on implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord, state finance minister Himanta Biswa Sarma on Saturday said that the state government will be receiving the report on February 25 at 12 noon.

Addressing a press conference at Janata Bhawan in Guwahati, Sarma said union home minister Amit Shah advised that the chief minister of Assam should receive the report on his behalf. “So accordingly, on February 25 at 12 noon, Assam CM Sarbananda Sonowal along with his Cabinet colleagues will receive the report from the committee.”

The minister added, “We have already invited the committee so that they can come and submit the report.”

He further said that, Shah has also assured that after submission of the report if there is something which needs to be discussed with the committee, he will again invite the committee so that things can be sorted out.

On the implementation of the report, Sarma said, “We have to see the report first if the report is alright constitutionally and legally. And if the report fulfils the aspirations of the people of Assam, then we will ask for speedy implementation. But if the report requires certain clarification or if the report needs to be deliberated further, then we will do that.”

He added, I hope and trust that the report will be fine and we will be able to implement it as expeditiously as possible.

The Assam Congress also held a press conference today and briefing the media, party spokesperson Durga Das Boro criticised union home minister Amit Shah for delaying the implementation of clause 6 of the Assam Accord.

Calling the state government as a coward government, he expressed serious concern over the failure of the union home minister to accept the clause 6 report submitted by the expert panel.

He said that both the Centre and the state government are hesitating to accept the clause 6 reports for reasons best known to them.

He appealed to the BJP leaders and those in power not to mislead the people of Assam regarding Clause 6.

Meanwhile, the report (which was ready on February 10) has been sealed in an envelope and has been kept under the safe custody of the Assam Accord Implementation Department (AAID), Assam.

The report has been prepared by a high-level committee set up by the home ministry on July 15, 2019 to recommend constitutional safeguards to protect the interests of the ethnic Assamese within six months. However, the term of the high-Level Committee had to be extended by a month up to February 15, 2020.

Clause 6 of the Assam Accord envisages that appropriate constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards should be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social, linguistic identity and heritage of the ethnic Assamese.

The 14-member committee is headed by Justice (retd) Biplab Kumar Sarma.

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