GUWAHATI, Sept 28 - Leaders and members of the Congress party today registered their protest all over the State against the failure of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government at the Centre to implement the Food Security Act, 2013, to arrest the skyrocketing prices of essential items and its decision to discontinue the postage stamps issued in the names of former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
Congress leaders and members went to the offices of their respective block development officers, circle officers, sub-divisional officers or deputy commissioners in procession and submitted memorandums to the Prime Minister demanding implementation of the Food Security Act, steps to arrest the rise in prices of essential items and continuation of the postage stamps issued in the names of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
In the city, All India Congress Committee (AICC) general secretary Dr CP Joshi, secretary Abinash Pandey, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) president Anjan Dutta, Minister Rakibul Hussain, several leaders of the APCC and president of the Guwahati City District Congress Committee, besides a large number of Congress members and sympathisers, took part in the procession taken out from Latasil area to the office of the Kamrup (Metro) Deputy Commissioner.
APCC senior spokesman Apurba Bhattacharya said in a statement that the Food Security Act has made provision of supply of 35 kg of rice at the rate of Rs 3 a kilogram (kg) or atta at the rate of Rs 2 a kg in a month to each of the 84 per cent of rural population and 50 per cent of the urban population through the fair price shops. The Central government is to bear the entire cost of implementing the above welfare scheme under this legislation.
In Assam too, the State government has completed selection of the beneficiaries under this legislation and submitted the lists to the Central government. But the NDA government at the Centre has not come forward to implement this legislation, alleged the APCC spokesman.
Again, the prices of essential items have shot up by two to three times compared to those during the previous government�s rule at the Centre. The NDA government has gone against its election pledges and hiked rail passengers� fare by 16.5 per cent, goods carriage charge by 7.5 per cent and service tax by 14.7 per cent. All these have led to the abnormal rise in the prices of essential items, said the APCC spokesman, adding, all these have exposed the hollowness of the pre-2014 Lok Sabha elections Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) slogan � Bahut Hui Mehengai Ki Maar, Aapki Bar Modi Sarkar (We have faced enough dearness, this time vote for the Modi government to bring an end to all these).
The Central government run by the NDA has exempted the corporate sector from a whopping income tax amount of Rs 5.50 lakh crore in its first year in power and this has made it unable to implement the Food Security Act, alleged the APCC spokesman.
He also condemned the NDA government�s decision to withdraw the postage stamps issued in the names of Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, describing it as a reflection of the NDA�s intolerance towards the Opposition. Both the Gandhis had made the supreme sacrifice while fighting terrorism, asserted the APCC spokesman.
Our Jorabat correspondent adds: The Dimoria Block Congress in association with the APCC, took out a rally at Sonapur today in protest against non-implementation of the Food Security Act.
The rallyists shouted slogans against BJP and Narendra Modi and demanded implementation of the Food Security Act. Holding plates and dishes in their hands, they took out the rally from Rajiv Bhawan at Sonapur to the office of Sonapur revenue circle.
They alleged that Rs 3 per kg rice rice and Rs 2 per kg wheat were not provided to them by the Central government led by Narendra Modi.
The protesters, led by former minister and sitting MLA Akon Bora, submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Modi through the Circle Officer of Sonapur revenue circle.
Hundreds of Congress workers participated in the protest rally, demanding that the Food Security Act enacted by the UPA II government, be implemented as soon as possible.