GUWAHATI, Feb 23 � Expressing concern over the large-scale use of the government machinery in works concerning holding of the public rally of Congress party vice president Rahul Gandhi in the city scheduled for February 25, public activist Prof Deven Dutta today termed it as a Congress �culture�, and said that the opposition parties, too, had failed to oppose the Congress� anti-constitutional and anti-people act in unambiguous terms.
�Even though this is a blatantly anti-constitutional act, it is only expected from a party like the Congress which has a history of misusing the government machinery for its party purposes, obliterating the distinction between party and Government in the process. In Assam, this disturbing trend can be traced back to the days of the AICC plenary session at Jawahar Nagar in the city in 1976 when Sarat Chandra Sinha � otherwise a very honest man with impeccable integrity � was the Chief Minister,� Prof Dutta said.
Prof Dutta said that the government officials engaged in work pertaining to the party rally ought to have refused to carry out such illegal and unconstitutional assignments, as they are legally bound to discharge only their constitutional obligations.
�The inconvenience caused to the people apart, this is also demeaning for the government officials - for their self respect and the respect they should have for their jobs. Rather than toeing the lines of their political masters, the officers should have approached the court seeking legal protection against illegal orders by the Government,� he added.
Prof Dutta said that the lukewarm protest from the opposition parties smacked of their narrow interests, as they would have done the same thing had they been in power.
�We have not seen any actual protest from the opposition parties which were content with issuing a mere statement. They ought to have registered a strong protest on the ground but this was not done, and they have in the process lost a chance to connect with the people," he added.