GUWAHATI: Assam may be an additional charge for Nagaland Governor Padmanabha Balakrishna Acharya, but he has been playing a far more proactive role in managing the state’s affairs than even Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and his Council of Ministers.
Ever since he was given charge of Assam, Acharya has defied protocol to summon state government officials to seek status reports on various crucial issues, particularly rhino-poaching in Kaziranga National Park.
Acharya has also been attacking the Congress Government for ignoring the infiltration issue and is upset that Clause 6 of the Assam Accord is yet to be implemented because government can’t define the word “Assamese”.
The accord, signed in 1985 following a six-year-old anti-foreigners agitation spearheaded by the All Assam Students Union and the Assam Gana Sangram Parishad, says, “Constitutional, legislative and administrative safeguards, as may be appropriate, shall be provided to protect, preserve and promote the cultural, social and linguistic identity and heritage of the Assamese people”.
Acharya’s comments come in the midst of an alarming rise in the population of Muslims in the state, most of them allegedly Bangladeshi migrants.
He has also been moving against the administrators of tribal councils for alleged anomalies.“It is sad that instead of the poor, it is the rich that have become beneficiaries of the various government schemes,” Acharya lamented.
He cited the anomalies in the BPL list of Dima Hasao as an example.
“Recently, I visited some villages in Dima Hasao district. An estimated 40,000 people there have been shown as those belonging to BPL families. But I learnt that some of them are, in fact, owners of petrol pumps,” he said.
Acharya has asked the authorities in Dima Hasao Autonomous Council to compile a fresh BPL list.
Unlike his predecessors, Acharya has not limited himself to the confines of Raj Bhavan and has embarked on whirlwind trips and sudden visits to places across the state.
Sometimes, he pays sudden visits to schools to check the Mid-day Meals, and at times a rural area to monitor the progress of work in road and bridge projects.
Naturally, the Governor’s actions have not gone down well with the CM.
Earlier, when Acharya summoned Forest Minister Atuwa Munda in the wake of the spurt in rhino-poaching at Kaziranga, Gogoi had shot back saying, “We have to assess where he can interfere and where he cannot. We will not carry out any order if it is found to be unconstitutional”.
Later, Gogoi denied having made the statement when Acharya asked him about it.