Guwahati (Assam) [India], Feb 9 (ANI): Days after the central government signed the Bodo Peace Accord with various ethnic groups active in Assam, former chief minister Tarun Gogoi dismissed the accord as "cosmetic".
Speaking to the media on Saturday, Gogoi said: "PM Modi wants to give the impression that there will be peace in the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) area after the signing of the Bodo Peace Accord. However, everyone knows that peace and development had started in the region when we signed the agreement with the Bodo Liberation Tigers (BLT) in 2003. Modi is indirectly blaming the previous governments for the chaotic situation in the area."
Terming the new accord as a "cosmetic" arrangement, Gogoi further said: "We also want peace and development in the region along with the preservation of language and culture and generation of employment, but most of the people there are non-Bodo people. If they are deprived, their grievances are not given importance and they are ignored, how would peace prevail in the region?."
Referring to the contentious Citizenship Amendment Act, Gogoi stated that since its introduction, the state of Assam is burning and protests have been on the rise.
"It is dangerous for the people's identity and the culture of Assam, and it also violates the Assam Accord," he said.
He also blamed PM Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for the ongoing unrest in Assam.
Gogoi further accused Modi of not giving importance to the demands and sentiments of the people of Assam, and stated that "peace can be achieved through action, not speeches".
"We are not foolish, we understand your (government's) so-called sympathy towards the state. These are just crocodile tears. We are not expecting much from this accord," he added.
On January 27, the central government signed a tripartite agreement with representatives of all factions of the banned National Democratic Front of Bodoland (NDFB) at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in New Delhi.
The Bodo groups have been demanding a separate state of Bodoland for the last 50 years. The movement has resulted in extensive violence and loss of hundreds of lives over the years.
In 1993, the Bodoland Autonomous Council was formed through an agreement with the Union government, but it could not stop the violence initiated by various Bodo militant groups.
In 2003, an extensive agreement was worked out with Bodo Liberation Tigers, which led to the creation of Bodoland Territorial Council and Bodoland Territorial Area Districts with four districts. (ANI)