Would you wanted a Divided Assam?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Newer states will make us weaker in the Parliament.

When I was growing up, one of the main political cribs of the Assamese people against the Central Government and the Parliament was that we don't have enough representation in the Lok Sabha, like the other states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar etc.

It seems Assamese people have forgotten this crib.

We are getting myopic and fighting among each other demanding separation and formation of newer states, further lowering our representation in the parliament.

It is very important to understand that the definition of a state is very critical for the political parties to win the general elections as well as to run the parliamentary democracy. The reason and timing of the Telangana decision is political opportunism. The number of Congress MPs and allies elected from Andhra Pradesh had played a crucial role in the formation of both the UPA 1 and UPA 2 governments. This Telangana move was necessary because of the untimely death of chief minister YS Rajasekhara Reddy which has led to the disintegration of the Congress party in the state. Congress can now have a guarantee of 17 seats because of this decision.

Newer smaller states only help the centre and the bigger states. It weakens the strength of Indian Federal structure and promotes a shift towards a unitary state structure. When 42 MPs from Andhra Pradesh or 80 from Uttar Pradesh stand up to demand their rightful share in Parliament, few can ignore them.

Assam, for long, has been dependent on the ‘mercy’ of the Central government. Assam has 14 Lok Sabha seats only as compared to 40 seats of Bihar, 28 seats of Jharkhand, 80 seats of Uttar Pradesh and 42 seats of West Bengal. (Data Source: Wikipedia).

It is not without reason that AGP had a tough time doing business with the Central government. Even state Congress finds it difficult to garner enough support within the party from outside of Assam to take forward any cause for Assam. Ultimately they have to resort to the safest bet of sycophancy and 'pleasing the dynasty' strategy.

With Centre becoming more powerful, it will have an immediate impact on the tax revenue share between the Centre and the state governments. Currently, as per latest Finance Commission recommendations, states get 32 per cent of its tax revenue, valid till 2015.

It is imperative therefore that all the communities and tribes of Assam solve our problems and angst by coming to a common discussion table. We give some, take some and come to a point of understanding, and get ready to fight for larger wholesome benefits with the Central Government.

Believe me, that Indian political system is too smart for our own good. With smaller states, Assam and North-east as a whole will only lose in the political bargain.

Lets fight for an united Assam. Joi Ai Axom.

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