Voters of Silchar prepare their own manifesto
13 March 2014, Silchar: Voters of Silchar constituency gathered today at Madhya Sahar Sanskritik Samiti Hall and prepared their own manifesto for upcoming parliamentary election. For this purpose a civil society consultation was organized by Barak Human Rights Protection Committee (BHRPC) in collaboration with Wada Na Todo Abhiyan, a national forum of about 3000 civil society groups. Through the day-long discussion that started at about 11 am a list of 40 demands were prepared as people’s manifesto. The major demands in the list include completion of construction of broad gauge and Maha Sadak within 2014, repeal of the Armed Forces (Special Power) Act, 1958, stopping rights violations of D-voters in detention camps and otherwise, solution of D-voters and foreigners issue in Assam through a mechanism established by a treaty between India-Bangladesh and India-Nepal. The mechanism should be in conformity with international law and must respect due process rights.
The consultation which was presided over by Waliullah Ahmed Laskar, director, law division, BHRPC, and was attended by the social activists who work at the grass root level in Silchar constituency. Representatives of 30 civil society organizations and many independent experts took part in the consultation. Although all political parties were invited, only representatives from Am Admi Party and Asom Gana Parishad participated. Prominent citizens who participated in the consultation include Prof. Subir Kar, former head, department of Bengali, Assam University, Silchar; Abid Raja Mazumder, former principal, Nehru College, Pailapool; Sadhan Purakayastha, Citizen’s Rights Preservation Committee; Dipak Sengupta, Barak Upotyoka Banga Sahitya O Sanskriti Sanmelan; Samar Bijoy Chakrabarty; Sihab Uddin Ahmed, Humanity Foundation, Silchar.
Other demands in the people’s manifesto include establishment of a National Hunger Monitoring Commission in line with National Human Rights Commission with state and district offices to monitor situations of starvation and malnutrition, decentralization of powers through multi-layered autonomous council system, establishment of a super-specialty hospital as the one proposed in Arunabandh, bringing the Silchar Airport at Kumbhirgram under civil aviation and making it functional 24/7 etc.
The Manifesto thus prepared will be sent to all candidates of the Silchar Loksabha Constituency at the local level and it will also be presented at the North Eastern regional consultation to be held on 15 March 2014 in Guwahati and in the national consultation on 18 March 2014 in Delhi.