AASU, Congress flay Assam govt on relief ‘anomalies’
The All Assam Students’ Union and Opposition Congress on Thursday lambasted the state government for allegedly failing to curb “anomalies” in relief distribution among the economically weaker sections during the nationwide lockdown.
The AASU, which has been distributing relief items across the state since April, alleged that a large number of “needy” people were deprived of relief due to corruption by panchayat and block-level officials.
AASU general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said, “People have complained of massive corruption in the distribution of free rice and financial assistance through panchayat officials, depriving the real beneficiaries. Many alleged they had to pay a commission to receive relief items and financial assistance. It’s a shame Dispur has failed to control such irregularities.”
Recently, three members of a family had died after consuming poisonous mushrooms in Charaideo district since they had allegedly not received any government aid.
Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Debabrata Saikia said, “It is very unfortunate that some people are starving while some are dying by consuming unhealthy food during the lockdown.”
Saikia demanded that Dispur distribute food packets to each and every household in the state. In several states like Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Gujarat, the governments have distributed food packets containing rice, pulses, sugar, salt, edible oil and other essential items to poor households.
Saikia also said the relief being extended was neither adequate not equitable. He said ground reports suggested that only rice was being supplied and that all needy without ration cards were not receiving relief. “How can one survive only on rice. In disaster manual, there are 30 items. There are many poor families even in my constituency who are going without relief,” he said.
Chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Thursday urged panchayat presidents and secretaries to ensure proper and corruption-free implementation of all government schemes. The Assam government had decided to provide free rice to below poverty line families with effect from April.
BJP spokesperson Rupam Goswami said, “We are doing everything possible to mitigate the pain of the needy. The people will decide what we are or not doing for them.”