Karbi Anglong Congress

Diphu June 17: The issue was always persuaded by the Congress-led Assam government with affirmative recommendations; in 1998, through letter no TDA/BC/188/97/13 Dated 9.1.98, PP Verma IAS Commissioner and Secretary to the Government of Assam WPT &BC Department  wrote to Ministry of Welfare, Government of India “Government of Assam now recommends that the Bodos, Lalungs and Sonowals residing permanently in Karbi Anglong and district and NC Hills District should be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes of these two Autonomous Hill Districts and the Karbis and Dimasas residing permanently in the plain district of Assam should be included in the list of STs.”

Karbi Anglong Congress Leaders Oppose

The Karbi Anglong district Congress leaders and Dr. Rongpi-led HSDC who are also part of HTPF is opposing the issue now on the ground that the facility to the Bodo’s may be detrimental to the other 6th schedule tribes of both hill districts. “The issue should have been officially negated at the initial stage, Congress has nurtured the issue for such a long time and the HSDC also did not prevented the Congress and the Bodo communities expectation raised, now the matter will have to be settled amicably without creating any bad feelings between communities, one should not forget that along with 60 thousand Bodo living in the hills 4 lakhs Karbi people have also been given ST(H) status within the same package” a prominent Diphu educator said on condition of anonymity.

Strong anecdote of BJP’s invasion on the last Congress bastion i.e. Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council has kept the people of this sixth scheduled hill district on their toes. Local vernacular dailies quoting insider information have reported that a group of 15 Member of Autonomous Council (MAC) elected from Congress led by incumbent Chief Executive Member Tuliram Ronghang has set in motion the course of liaison with Assam state BJP leaders. It has also been stated that a number of BJP MLAs of Karbi Anglong district are active in smoothing the process of rechristening the Congress zealots or the ruling Executive Committee of KAAC into saffron.

tuliram ronghang, Karbi Anglong Congress.

Tuliram Ronghang, Karbi Anglong Congress.

“My individual view in this issue doesn’t carry much credence as the decision will not be taken at the district level if at all such development is takes place, however it will be better if we could wait till the KAAC election which is due in January 2017 and a quantum leap won’t help the party in the long run” said one of the top Karbi Anglong BJP leaders on condition of confidentiality.

Engtipi, Beypi Refuse To Merge With BJP

In the 30-member KAAC house, Congress has support of 26 MACs including the 4 nominated ones 6 elected as independent, 2 BJP and one MAC supported by Bodo frontal organizations of Karbi Anglong. It has been reported that Alice Engtipi, the elder sister of the vanquished Congress minister of Gogoi cabinet Khorsing Engti and Executive member of KAAC and Mrs. Premola Beypi wife of Khorsing Engti has refused to merge with BJP.

In the given circumstances, BJP cannot structure its regime on its own unless a vertical split within Congress takes place and if this happens, BJP will not be in a commanding position to dictate its terms. Obviously Congress members plank shifting will be very much conditional and they will work from their comfort zone.

According to information received at the time of filing this story, a vertical split within district Congress is almost certain but district BJP executives and alliance partners are maintaining a negative stance on the issue. They are determined to veto the move.

About 

Sushanta Roy is a journalist in the north eastern states of Assam and Meghalaya, India, who photographs and writes about the people, animals and flora, and the things that affect them.