regular-article-logo Saturday, 09 December 2023

Chaos in Assam Assembly over allegations against Himanta Biswa Sarma’s wife

Opposition MLAs demand a discussion over allegation that a company linked to chief minister’s wife gets a government subsidy, leading to three adjournments before they walk out of the House for rest of the day

PTI Guwahati Published 16.09.23, 05:21 AM
Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is welcomed by BJP workers in Patna on Friday. 

Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma is welcomed by BJP workers in Patna on Friday.  PTI picture

Chaos reigned supreme in the Assam Assembly on Friday as the Opposition MLAs demanded a discussion over the allegation that a company linked to chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s wife got a government subsidy, leading to three adjournments before they walked out of the House for the rest of the day.

Raising the issue during the Question Hour, Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha asked revenue and disaster management minister Jogen Mohan if the plot of land in the Kaliabor area was allotted to Riniki Bhuyan Sarma’s company under the state’s Basundhara scheme.


He also asked what documents were submitted to seek the allotment of the land, in connection with which the company allegedly received the central subsidy.

Speaker Biswajit Daimary maintained that the matter was not related to the original question listed by Purkayastha and that the chief minister was not present in the House.

However, Purkayastha persisted with the question, with several ministers getting on their feet and trading barbs with the Opposition legislators.

As the chaos continued, the Speaker adjourned the House for 30 minutes.

After the House reconvened, leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia of the Congress drew the attention of the Chair to the notice he gave for the discussion of the matter during Zero Hour.

As Deputy Speaker Numal Momin, who was in the chair, did not allow an immediate discussion, Congress MLAs along with the lone CPI(M) legislator and an Independent MLA trooped to the Well of the House and began a dharna.

Saikia also demanded an inquiry into the allegations against the chief minister’s wife.

The MLAs of the ruling BJP also went to the Well, and the chaos escalated. As both sides refused to budge, the House was adjourned for 5 minutes.

When the House reassembled after the second adjournment, the chaos continued with the Opposition MLAs raising slogans against the government from the Well.

Asking them to return to their seats, Momin said: “You will be allowed (to raise the matter), but you have to keep patience.”

As BJP MLAs also got into the Well and the chaos continued, the House was again adjourned for 15 minutes.

When the House gathered again, deputy leader of the Opposition Rakibul Hussain said that as the Chair did not allow immediate discussion, the Congress MLAs were walking out for the rest of the day.

The lone CPI(M) MLA and the Independent MLA also joined them.

The land and subsidy issue also rocked the Assembly on Thursday, following which the Opposition staged a walkout.

The chief minister had on Thursday said he was willing to accept any punishment, including retirement from public life, if there was any evidence that his wife or her company, Pride East Entertainment, received or claimed any amount from the Centre.

On Wednesday, Congress deputy leader in the Lok Sabha, Gaurav Gogoi, had alleged that the company got a credit subsidy of Rs 10 crore from the Centre under a scheme.

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