GUWAHATI, Jan 28 - The budget session of the Assam Legislative Assembly began today on a stormy note, amidst sloganeering and protests from the Opposition parties, including the AGP, who demanded scrapping of the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill.
Commencing the proceedings, Governor Jagdish Mukhi started his address recalling the contributions of the legendary Dr Bhupen Hazarika who has been conferred with the highest civilian award Bharat Ratna.
Two minutes into his speech, when the Governor asserted that the �days since the last budget session have been quite momentous for the State�, AGP president Atul Bora raised the Citizenship Bill issue and questioned why there was no mention of it in the Governor�s address. Immediately, all the Opposition MLAs were on their feet raising slogans against the government�s �anti-constitutional� moves which are �threatening the identity of the indigenous people.�
While the AGP members were on their feet, MLAs of the Congress and AIUDF trooped into the Well and created a pandemonium near the Speaker�s chair. The Opposition alleged that the Governor�s speech was full of �lies� and the claims of peace and harmony in the State �did not depict the actual situation on ground.�
The agitated MLAs raised slogans like �Joi Aai Asom�, �Fulfil election promise�, �Save Assam Save India� and �Beyman Sarkar� (dishonest government).
Some BJP MLAs too came near the Speaker�s chair to counter the Opposition slogans, but that only worsened the din.
Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami failed to calm the slogan-shouting and placard-wielding legislators, even as the Governor continued to read out his 64-page address, only to cut it short after a few minutes.
Unable to control the situation, Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami adjourned the House for a 40-minute break.
Speaking to reporters later, former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the burning issue at the moment in the State was the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill and there was no mention of it in the Governor�s address.
�Claims of peace and harmony in the State were unfounded and the Governor�s address does not depict the actual situation on the ground. The government is destroying the social harmony and creating division among communities. It is also creating a division within the tea community, by proposing to give ST status to only a section of it,� Gogoi said, also mentioning yesterday�s the Nalbari incident where BJP workers allegedly manhandled AASU activists inside a police station.
In the House, the Congress legislators wore gamosas around their neck, as a symbolic protest because the �identity of the indigenous people was facing a threat�.
Alleging that the government was trying to evade the vital issues concerning the State, AGP president Atul Bora rued that the Governor�s address did have any mention about the Citizenship Bill which has created unrest in the State. He also criticized the attack on AASU activists at Nalbari.