Bills to create separate autonomous councils finally passed on Thursday rises new hope for the three communities of Assam. The Moran Autonomous Council Bill, The Matak Autonomous Council Bill, and The Kamatapur Autonomous Council Bill were tabled on March 24, the last day of the Budget Session this year. Bills related to Moran and Matak were passed without any objection but the opposition and one member of BJP objected to the nomenclature of the third bill with the request to change it to Koch-Rajbongshi Autonomous Council Bill, 2020.
Soon after, the Coordination Committee of different autonomous councils such as Koch Raj Bongshi, Tai Ahom, Adivasi, Chutia, Gorkha, etc. met the CM and submitted a memorandum enlisting their several demands of granting adequate funds. CM Sonowal, with his mild tone, as usual, spoke out to their satisfaction that his government is working towards fulfilling all their demands including the demand for autonomy. CM with the promise of welfare and creation of autonomous councils stood for the elections in 2016 and thus won out of hope that arose in the hearts of people who saw an array of hope in the CM.
Since the elections of 2016 and even after becoming the CM, he has been assuring the indigenous people of Assam to protect them and make Assam free of illegal immigrants or Bangladeshis. His slogan itself was “Jati, Mati and Bheti” which meant to protect Assam and its indigenous people in every aspect and keep their demands intact. But with the CAA, a different scenario was seen where the CM kept mum with no words in favour of the people. He neither requested the Centre on behalf of the indigenous people of Assam who were under threat with the new bill which became an act nor held himself accountable to the people of Assam.
The time saw a version of Sonowal which didn’t represent Assam but only his political party. With such a situation, the people of Assam got doubtful of the Chief Minister’s promise of Jati, Mati, and Bheti. Even after that, he promised the implementation of Clause 6 of Assam Accord and a time came when he stopped responding to it either. The people totally got frustrated. Now just before elections in the year 2020, a lot of Bills and promises are being made to the people with the major one being the creation of Autonomous councils.
Sarbananda Sonowal has been assuring since 2016 of it and it took 4 years for him to deliver his promise and introduce the bill in Legislative Assembly that too on the last day of the Budget Session i.e. March 24. The intention of the Government in introducing such a bill on the last day raises several questions. But the three bills of Moran, Motak, and Kamatapur were hopefully passed on Thursday. Even after that, if we are to see the past records a difference is made by the Government between the passage of a bill and its enactment.
As elections are near, assurance and promises are increasing but the last 4 years didn’t see the fulfillment of such promises. It has been a question of intention as the passage of bills took place so late before the upcoming elections even after several demands and its enactment can undoubtedly be questioned. There are several demands including the implementation of Clause 6, the complete fulfillment of BTR peace treaty which are yet pending. Hence before elections, this bill leads to a huge number of questions in the minds of people.