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CM plate too full: Sushmita

Silchar, May 5: Sitting Assam MLA and Congress candidate from Silchar parliamentary seat Sushmita Dev today demanded that chief minister Tarun Gogoi let go of the home and finance portfolios in the wake of the BTAD situation.

Delivering a speech at a meeting organised by various organisations and local people as a mark of protest against the recent killings in Kokrajhar and Baksa, Sushmita said: “Our chief minister is holding too many portfolios. As he is quite old, he will not be able to look after all the departments at the same time. He should give up the home as well as the finance departments as these are two key departments which require dedicated persons.”

Sushmita, a first-time MLA and daughter of senior Congress leader and former Union minister Santosh Mohan Dev, is considered close to the anti-Gogoi camp in the Congress Legislature Party.

“We have to see Sushmita’s statement against this backdrop though what she said has assumed significance,” a Congress insider said.

Hailakandi and Karimganj, Barak Valley’s minority-dominated districts, saw protests against violence in the BTAD. Hailakandi witnessed a bandh yesterday while a bandh was organised in Cachar today.

“To maintain law and order in all parts of the state, the cabinet should have a dedicated home minister. It is not possible for a single man to do all the jobs and for that the law and order situation in BTAD has drastically deteriorated,” Sushmita added.

She also demanded a separate finance minister for speedy development.

“Development work needs a strong finance minister and we do not have one. When we go to the chief minister’s office to discuss various projects, his office takes too much time to respond to our proposals. Development is hampered as we do not have a dedicated finance minister.”

Katigorah MLA Ataur Rahman Mazarbhuiyan also staged a hunger strike on the same platform.

Another first-time MLA and Assam Youth Congress president, Pijush Hazarika, who is close to Himanta Biswa Sarma, said the recent flare-up reflects that lessons have not been learnt from the 2012 Kokrajhar riots.