The High powered Clause VI committee is about to formally hand over the recommendations to the Ministry of Home Affairs and it was signed by all members.
But Member Secretary of the Committee Mr. Satyendra Garg, Joint Secretary of MHA, did not attend the final signing day meeting. He is rather now requesting some specific changes in the report, sources close to the committee said.
But what are the recommendations of the Clause VI committee?
Although all the members are tightlipped and not ready to come on records the sources close to the secretariat working for the committee had given some hints about the content.
Here are the top seven recommendations:
- Recommended introduction of Inner Line Permit (ILP) system in the entire State and protection of land rights of the indigenous people. If it is accepted by the Centre, the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) shall not be applicable to Assam also.
- Decided to recommend taking 1951 as the cut-off year for extending benefits of constitutional protection. All the members of the committee agreed on the point that 1951 should be the cut-off year for identification of Assamese people who would be eligible for constitutional safeguards under the provisions of Clause 6 of the Assam Accord.
- The difference of opinion among the members of the committee on the percentage of seats in Assembly, Parliament and local bodies to be kept reserved for the indigenous people. There were two opinions on the issue. The AASU members in the committee were demanding hundred per cent reservation, while the other members were of the view that the committee should recommend 67 per cent reservation in addition to the existing reservations for scheduled caste and scheduled tribe. As the members could not come to a consensus on the issue, both the views were in the report.
- In the job reservation also, two views were included in the report. AASU wants 100% per cent but other members want 67%.
- Recommended creation of an upper House to ensure representation of all the tribal and ethnic groups.
- Suggested measures for the protection of Assamese and other tribal and ethnic languages of the State along with protection of the cultural heritage of all communities.
- Recommended implementation of all the clauses of the Assam Accord and asked the government to take the diplomatic initiative to deport the foreign nationals as suggested by the Supreme Court.
MHA seeking changes
Although both Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal are eagerly waiting for the recommendations, the source said that MHA Joint Secretary Satyendra Garg is not cooperating.
Although he was the Member Secretary of the Clause VI Committee, he hardly attended any of the full meetings of the Committee. He also did not come to the final meeting of the Clause VI committee where all other members were present and signed on the final copy of the recommendation. That matter of Mr Garg’s non-cooperation was already brought to the notice of Assam Chief Minister also.
In fact, according to the source, Mr Garg was demanding specific changes in the recommendations which had enraged some senior members of the Committee including the Chairman.
The Report is signed and kept locked as the MHA is working on a date for a formal handing over where the Union Home Minister Amit Shah and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal are expected to attend.