Poll results put Karbi pact in jeopardy: UPDS

Spl correspondent
NEW DELHI, Jan 13 – After failing to wrest the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) at the hustings, the disbanded militant outfit UPDS has warned that the tripartite memorandum of settlement (MoS) is in serious jeopardy, warning that they may not be able to hold on to a “failed experiment”.

Stopping short of threatening to walk out of the MoS, signed with much fanfare, former chairman of the militant outfit Longsodar Senar in a strongly worded letter to Union Home Minister P Chidambaram has said the ex-UPDS leaders and cadres could no longer be expected to hold on to a failed experiment. The government alone should be responsible for any untoward development after this, Senar warned.

According to sources, the militant outfit has complained about not getting a level-playing field and lack of adequate time to reorganise themselves, besides paucity of funds for the poor showing in the polls. It squarely blamed the Assam Government for their poor performance. The ruling Congress retained control of the KAAC, leaving the Karbi militant groups furious.

The chairman has said that it now appears that the rushed election was a conspiracy to finish off the UPDS and the MoS. The election ensured that the avowed anti-accord forces wrested the seat of power. “The fate of the MoS is, therefore, in serious jeopardy,” he warned.

Stating that they consider the handling of the UPDS case a failure, the former chairman alleged that Government of Assam has wilfully refused to honour the solemn commitment made by the Home Minister regarding ‘neutral administration’ till the polls and a level-playing field during the election.

Senar claimed that on August 23, they were assured of the level-playing field, which encouraged them to sign the accord.

Saying that because he was fully conscious of the fact that the UPDS leaders and cadres needed time to adapt and reorient themselves, they had insisted on an interim government. It was rejected by the government. But once the accord had been signed, the election was rushed through, “obviously with a view to deny us the opportunity to pilot the implementation of the accord,” he alleged.

The Government of Assam was petitioned to grant time to lay down arms and disband the outfit, so that they could participate in the election with a sense of urgency. However, as soon as the arms were laid down and the outfit disbanded, a day later election was announced. It left UPDS with no time to re-organise themselves as a political group. “We were also left penniless to face the elections,” the ex-chief lamented.

“Despite our protest the election was brutally forced on us. Predictably, the results had been disastrous, as electoral politics is altogether a different ball-game,” stated Senar.

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