ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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The Refinery Movement in Assam

Oil has played an important role in the politics of Assam and is a determining factor in the relation between the centre and the state. The right over the natural resources of Assam has been an issue of contention between the central government and Assam in post-independence India. The discovery of a new oilfield in Assam immediately after independence led to conflicts not only between the Assam and the central governments, but also between the Government of India and the Assam Oil Company and its equity holder, the Burmah Oil Company, since there were moves to nationalise minerals. Though the conflict between Assam and the government of India started over the location of the refinery, the debates in the public sphere and in the Assam legislative assembly raised larger issues like the rights over natural resources, the question of Assam's development and the centre's role in it and the relation between the centre and the state.
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