North East

Assam Cong MP resolute in his demand for OBC status to riverine area populace

New Delhi, Sept 23 (UNI): Senior Congress leader and MP from Assam Abdul Khaleque on Thursday said he would not give up his demand to grant OBC status to people living in riverine areas in the state.

The statement from Khaleque, who represents Assam’s Barpeta constituency in the Lok Sabha, comes days after Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma rejected his proposal on the same.

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“It is unfortunate. I still stand with my proposal. I will not give up,” Khaleque, who represents Assam’s Barpeta constituency in Lok Sabha, told UNI on Thursday.

Without naming Sarma, he said, “A democratic leader cannot reject any demand without examination.”

Asked whether he would again approach the Assam government over the matter, he categorically said, “No.”

He said that granting OBC status to these people will make ‘Bharat Rashtra’ stronger.

Khaleque informed that though the Assam government had rejected his proposal, he had got acknowledgement from Union Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Virendra Kumar of his letter to include these people in the central OBC list.

Last month, in his letter to the Union Minister, Khaleque had mentioned that innumerable rivers flow through Assam resulting in formation of riverine islands across state and people living in these areas who do not feature either in SC or ST list were historically far behind others “economically and socially”.

“Overall development of the people living in riverine areas is of utmost necessity and these areas should be brought under special provisions for development,” he had said.

Last month, President Ram Nath Kovind had given assent to the OBC Bill, passed by Parliament unanimously in the monsoon session, restoring the powers of the states and Union Territories to have their own list of OBCs.

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