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Alternative to BJP in Assam not possible without Congress : Debabrata Saikia

By PTI
Alternative to BJP in Assam not possible without Congress : Debabrata Saikia
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Guwahati, Aug 7: Senior Assam Congress leader Debabrata Saikia on Saturday asserted that any alternative to ruling BJP is not possible without the support of Congress.

Saikia, who is also the leader of opposition, hinting at new regional parties which are allegedly working as BJP's 'Team B' in the state said the identity of those which are helping the saffron party covertly will be clear when the by-election to the Assam assembly is held. It is wrong to think that an alternative to BJP is possible without Congress. If other (Opposition) parties think we should work together (to beat BJP), it will be good. I have said it earlier too," he said.T

The new regional parties he hinted at were formed ahead of the state election earlier this year and were accused by Congress of working as 'Team B' of the saffron party to ensure division of opposition votes to enable the ruling BJP-led alliance retain power in the state. By-election is due in five seats in Assam following the death of two elected lawmakers and resignation of three others, including former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal due to his induction to the union cabinet.

About Himanta Biswa Sarma government's recent clarification that there is no tax on construction of houses in rural areas, Saikia said it was done as any such tax at this stage would have made the chief minister's dream of a 'Congress mukt' Assam difficult. Assam Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass had last week said permission from the local civic body would be needed and tax would have to be paid for building any new house in rural areas. The Chief Minister's office had, however, issued a press statement later claiming that no such tax is being imposed nor is any permission is needed.

Saikia said, "If the minister had discussed it in the cabinet, he would have been told (by other ministers) that the people are hit by COVID-19, prices of essential commodities are rising and prices of fuel are skyrocketing and this is not the right time to impose new taxes.

"The Chief Minister now says that he will not impose any tax. But it has to be done to run the government for the next five years," he added.

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Alternative to BJP in Assam not possible without Congress : Debabrata Saikia

Guwahati, Aug 7: Senior Assam Congress leader Debabrata Saikia on Saturday asserted that any alternative to ruling BJP is not possible without the support of Congress.

Saikia, who is also the leader of opposition, hinting at new regional parties which are allegedly working as BJP's 'Team B' in the state said the identity of those which are helping the saffron party covertly will be clear when the by-election to the Assam assembly is held. It is wrong to think that an alternative to BJP is possible without Congress. If other (Opposition) parties think we should work together (to beat BJP), it will be good. I have said it earlier too," he said.T

The new regional parties he hinted at were formed ahead of the state election earlier this year and were accused by Congress of working as 'Team B' of the saffron party to ensure division of opposition votes to enable the ruling BJP-led alliance retain power in the state. By-election is due in five seats in Assam following the death of two elected lawmakers and resignation of three others, including former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal due to his induction to the union cabinet.

About Himanta Biswa Sarma government's recent clarification that there is no tax on construction of houses in rural areas, Saikia said it was done as any such tax at this stage would have made the chief minister's dream of a 'Congress mukt' Assam difficult. Assam Panchayat and Rural Development Minister Ranjeet Kumar Dass had last week said permission from the local civic body would be needed and tax would have to be paid for building any new house in rural areas. The Chief Minister's office had, however, issued a press statement later claiming that no such tax is being imposed nor is any permission is needed.

Saikia said, "If the minister had discussed it in the cabinet, he would have been told (by other ministers) that the people are hit by COVID-19, prices of essential commodities are rising and prices of fuel are skyrocketing and this is not the right time to impose new taxes.

"The Chief Minister now says that he will not impose any tax. But it has to be done to run the government for the next five years," he added.

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