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Knives out for Congress in Assembly

Guwahati, Aug. 3: The budget session of the Assam Legislative Assembly will begin tomorrow with the Opposition likely to corner the Tarun Gogoi government over price rise of essential commodities, deteriorating law and order, deaths of several people in Japanese encephalitis, delay in updating the National Register of Citizens (NRC) and for seeking asylum for Bangladeshi refugees.

The principal secretary of the Assembly, Gauranga Prasad Das, said the first day of the session would see question hour, laying of ordinances and introduction of bills (if any), submission of reports of various Assembly committees, motion for election of members to various Assembly committees, government committees, boards and presentation of supplementary demands and supplementary appropriation for 2014-15.

Das said the government would present the budget for the year 2014-15 on August 11 and there would be a general discussion on it from August 12 to 14.

As the Assembly session will continue till August 29, the Opposition is preparing itself to attack the government over several burning issues.

The president in-charge of the AGP, Atul Bora, told The Telegraph that AGP leaders and MLAs would stage a demonstration in front of the Assembly tomorrow to register their protest against Dispur’s plea to grant asylum to Bangladeshi refugees.

On July 16, the Assam government had announced that it would move the Centre to frame a policy to grant asylum on humanitarian grounds to persons who fled religious persecution and discrimination and took refuge in India.

“The Tarun Gogoi government’s move is aimed at creating a vote bank of illegal Bangladeshi migrants with an eye on the 2016 Assembly polls. We will stage a demonstration from 11am on Monday,” Bora said.

The general secretary of the AIUDF, Aminul Islam, said the party would raise the issues of deteriorating law and order and price rise in the Assembly session.

“The law and order scene in the state is deteriorating everyday. There is no decline in incidents of abduction, killing, robbery or theft. The Assamese people are being tortured even in neighbouring Arunachal Pradesh, but the state government has not shown any promptness or political will to control law and order. No effective step has been taken to seize illegal arms in the Bodoland Territorial Areas District,” he said.

Islam said his party legislators would also seek answers from the state government on deaths of so many people in Japanese encephalitis, delay in starting the process of NRC update and alleged partisan way in carrying out eviction drive in Guwahati. “The government has not bulldozed illegal multi-storied buildings in Guwahati,” Islam said.

Asked about their stand on the Opposition party’s reported move to bring a no-confidence motion against the Tarun Gogoi government, BJP MLA Ranjit Das said the party would not bring such a motion but would take a decision if such a motion is brought in by others.

Congress MLA Anjan Dutta, however, hoped that the budget session of the Assembly would be a smooth affair. On the issue of a public announcement by a section of dissident Congress MLAs that they would play the role of a constructive Opposition inside the House, Dutta said: “There is nothing constructive in the criticism of the government’s functioning. I hope that no Congress MLA will oppose the government’s policy during the budget session. All Congress MLAs are disciplined soldiers of the party.”

Speaker Pranab Gogoi today convened an all-party meeting in the Assembly and sought their cooperation in smooth conduct of the ensuing session.

BJP’s Dibrugarh MLA Prashanta Phukan was today replaced by Yadav Deka (Kamalpur MLA) as leader of its legislature party.

An AIUDF legislature party meeting has selected MLA Hafiz Basir Ahmed Qasimi as the new leader of the legislature party.

A meeting of the Congress Legislature Party was held this evening in the Assembly to discuss various issues and party’s stand during the budget session. The meeting, chaired by chief minister Tarun Gogoi, was attended by CLP leaders. Himanta Biswa Sarma and Pijush Hazarika were not present at the meeting. Congress leader Anjan Dutta said: “They might be busy with other assignments. Attending the CLP meeting is not mandatory.”


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