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Assam Assembly adjourned over alleged job scam, ST status to 6 communities


Guwahati, Sept 16: The Assam Assembly was on Monday adjourned after a noisy scene with the opposition demanding discussions on alleged cash-for-job scam in Grade III and IV posts as well as granting ST status to six communities of the state.

With Speaker Biswajit Daimary disallowing their Zero Hour notices, the Congress, CPI(M) and Independent members went to the Well of the House and showed placards, raised slogans and sat on the floor of the hall.

After the Question Hour ended, Daimary said three Zero Hour notices will be allowed and asked AGP's Ramendra Narayan Kalita to raise his on the dumping ground on the bank of Deepor Beel lake in Guwahati.

On this, senior Congress MLA Bharat Chandra Narah wanted to know if their notice on alleged cash-for-job scam in the recently held Grade III and IV post written examinations and the arrest of whistleblower Victor Das is allowed.

Independent MLA Akhil Gogoi too wanted to know if his Zero Hour notice on granting of ST status to six communities from Assam will be taken up for discussion.

The Centre this week granted ST status to several communities from different states. The list did not include Assam's Moran, Motok, Chutia, Tai-Ahom, Koch-Rajbongshi and Tea-Tribes communities, which were given multiple assurances by many senior BJP leaders for many years.

The Speaker then said all members would come to know when the permitted Zero Hour notices will be allowed one-after-another.

On this, the Congress, CPI(M) and Independent MLAs went to the Well of the House holding placards with their demands and raised slogans.

Gogoi also raised the issue of alleged irregularities in the recently declared results of several posts of Lakhimpur Medical College and Hospital and said that "the name of the local MLA has cropped up in the anomalies".

First-time MLA Manab Deka of the BJP represents the Lakhimpur constituency.

Surprisingly, all BJP legislators, led by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pijush Hazarika, also rushed to the Well just in front of the Speaker's dais and engaged in a verbal duel pointing fingers at the opposition.

"The Assembly is not an agitation site. You should not display placards here. All of you please take your seats. All the topics in the House are important," Daimary said, yielding no result.

With no side accepting his requests to cool down, he adjourned the House for 10 minutes.

The Deputy Speaker Numal Momin was on the Chair when the House reassembled. The opposition continued raising their demands and again went to the Well of the House with placards.

As Momin did not accept their demands, Kalita kept speaking about the Zero Hour notice.

Aggrieved by this, several opposition members sat on the floor of the House and continued shouting slogans. Congress demanded a probe by a sitting High Court judge into the alleged irregularities into the recruitment process.

"The opposition has a specific role in parliamentary democracy. You have many devices to raise an issue. If parliament is hijacked by misusing public money, then it is not proper use of parliament," Momin said.

Protesting the Deputy Speaker's statement, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Deputy Leader Rakibul Hussain announced a walkout by the opposition members.

Earlier this month, Victor Das had tweeted tagging Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Director General of Police Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta and alleged that some officials and former MLAs were demanding Rs 3-8 lakh for giving jobs in the ongoing recruitment exercise.

Following this, he was called for interrogation and eventually arrested by Guwahati Police on September 9. He was later remanded to seven days of police custody by a local court. The Gauhati High Court granted him bail on Friday.

This has led to huge backlash with all political parties and the public in general criticised the government action on social media.

More than 14.30 lakh candidates had applied for over 26,000 Grade III and IV posts of various government departments, with the examinations taking place on August 21, 28 and September 11.

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