Gogoi slams Modi for excluding Assam from land swap deal

Gogoi slams Modi for excluding Assam from land swap deal

Continuing his tirade against the Centre, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today charged Prime Minister Narendra Modi of practising "double standards for narrow political gain" by proposing to exclude the state from the purview of the land swap deal with Bangladesh.

"The Prime Minister had last year said here that the agreement is good for Assam. Now why are you excluding it? You have one stand before poll and another after. It is double standard for narrow political gains," Gogoi said at a press conference here.

The Congress leader asserted the Centre should have consulted the state before proposing any change to the Land Boundary Agreement (LBA), popularly known as land swap deal.

"He (Modi) talks of cooperative federalism. But what kind of federalism is this where the CM concerned is not consulted at all? Our stand has remained the same all along. We still think that this is good for Assam and it will help in stopping infiltration from Bangladesh," Gogoi said.

On November 30 last year, Modi had said at a party workers' rally here that the Centre would go ahead with the LBA with Bangladesh for a permanent solution of infiltration issue keeping in mind the welfare of Assam.

"I know Assam's problems. I assure you all that there will be no compromise on Assam's security. Land swapping will be done for a permanent solution. I know the sentiment of Assamese people regarding land swapping deal. I assure you, we will move ahead considering India and Assam's welfare," Modi had said.

"Assam will gain in long term even if it looks like losing in short term," he said then.
Last week, a senior government functionary in New Delhi had said that since the issue of land swap under LBA with Bangladesh has evoked "emotional reaction" in Assam, the Bill will not include any land pertaining to the state but will comprise land from West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya.

The BJP unit in Assam has opposed the exchange of enclaves between Bangladesh and India involving the territory of Assam.

The party now wants to exclude Assam due to sensitivities in the state, where BJP aspires to come to power in Assembly polls due early next year. 

Assam government has been maintaining that the provisions of the protocol are an integral part of the 1974 agreement between India and Bangladesh.

According to the protocol, the Radcliffe Line demarcating India-Bangladesh border in the Assam sector namely, Lathitilla -Dumabari sector in Karimganj district, Kalabari (Boroibari) area in Dhubri district and the Pallathal area in Karimganj district of Assam will be re-drawn as agreed to in the protocol.

As a result of the re-demarcation proposed in the LBA, approximately 714 acres of land in Lathitilla area will formally become part of Assam in India and 193.    85 acres of land in Kalabari (Boroibari) and 74.55 acres in Pallathal will formally go to Bangladesh. These 268.40 acres of land are already under adverse possession of Bangladesh.

Therefore, India (Assam) will formally get a net land area of 445.6 acres with reference to the Radcliffe Line.

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