Guwahati, Jan 28 : The Budget session of the Assam Legislative Assembly got off to a noisy start today with the Opposition creating uproarious scenes in the House against the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, and forcing the Governor to conclude his speech in the House in less than five minutes.
The Opposition Congress and Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) continued their protest outside the House also by boycotting the tea meet organized in honour the Governor after his speech. The AGP, which had pulled out of the BJP-led coalition state government over the Bill earlier this month, sat in the Opposition benches, along with the Congress and the AIUDF.
The main Opposition party Congress led the protests inside the House, displaying placards against the CAB, 2016, and raising slogans against the government. All the MLAs of the Congress and several legislators of All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) wore Assamese traditional ‘gamosas’ around their necks to assert the identity of the Assamese people and raised ‘Jai Aai Asom’ (Long Live Assam) slogans inside the House.
The protests erupted barely one minute after Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi started reading out the Governor’s customary speech at the beginning of the Budget session. He started the speech by lauding the conferring of Bharat Ratna posthumously on music maestro Dr Bhupen Hazarika and just as he began mention of the developmental activities of the government, the Opposition benches took to their feet.
The Congress, AIUDF and AGP displayed placards against the CAB and the legislators of Congress and AIUDF also stormed into the Well of the House, while raising slogans.
Several members of the ruling BJP party also walked into the Well and engaged in verbal duel with the Opposition, while the Governor continued reading his speech over the din.
As the unruly scenes continued, the Governor winded up his speech in less than four minutes.
With the speech taken as read, Speaker Hintendra Nath Goswami signaled the playing of the National Anthem to mark the Governor’s departure.
The Speaker announced adjournment of the House for 30 minutes and invited all legislators for a tea party hosted in honour of the Governor, but the Congress and AGP decided to boycott the tea party as a continuation of their opposition. The Congress MLAs also staged a protest outside the Assembly building, displaying placards against the CAB, 2016.
Talking to reporters later, Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikai said the Congress will continue its protest against the CAB, 2016, and demanded the state government to also take a stand against the Bill as respect for the sentiments of the people of the state. AIUDF legislator Aminul Islam said the party was opposed to the Bill and the mention of welfare activities of the state in the Governor’s speech, alleging that there has been no development nor has there been any improvement in law and order situation. (UNI)