Guwahati, July 11: Leaders of various opposition parties of Assam on Saturday came together to submit joint memorandum to Governor Jagdish Mukhi and assembly Speaker Biswajit Daimary against certain remarks of Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma that allegedly belittled opposition MLAs.
Terming the statements of the Chief Minister as "undemocratic and unconstitutional", senior opposition leaders urged the Governor and the Speaker to advise Sarma, who has taken oath to protect the Constitution, to refrain from making such statements in future. "The remarks made by the Chief Minister which tries to demean the Constitutional roles and duties of the Opposition is in very bad taste and we feel that such behaviour is intolerable and unbecoming part of a Chief Minister who has taken oath under you to protect and preserve and safeguard the Indian Constitution," they said in the memorandum to the governor.
They were reacting to Sarma's statement in the assembly on June 19 asking all opposition members to join the ruling BJP after a senior Congress MLAs defection to the saffron party. They also objected to the Chief Minister's July 6 comment at a programme in Barpeta district that MLAs do not have any power other than framing laws and it is the duty of the ministers to implement the legislation.
"These remarks of the Chief Minister are undemocratic, unconstitutional and in violation of the provision of Indian Constitution," the memorandum said. The memorandum was signed by Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia, his deputy Rakibul Hussain, Congress chief whip Wazed Ali Choudhury and MLA Bharat Narah, AIUDF MLA Aminul Islam, CPI(M) MLA Monoranjan Talukdar and Independent legislator Akhil Gogoi of Raijor Dal.
Pointing out that the role of each organ in a democracy, including the MLAs and the opposition, is well defined, they said, "... the CM's statement that an MLA has no work outside assembly is concocted, self-manufactured and baseless only with a view to dissuade Govt officials from listening to opposition MLAs." The opposition leaders submitted another similar memorandum to Speaker Daimary.
"Sir, the Leader of the Assembly has belittled the members of the Opposition Bench on more than one occasion and this is a very unconstitutional, undemocratic way of behaviour of a person who has taken Oath as member of the House to uphold the dignity of the House," the memorandum to the Speaker read. The opposition leaders urged Daimary to advise the Chief Minister not to make such remarks that try to dilute the role and responsibility of an important part of democracy.
The opposition parties had earlier separately criticised the chief minister for making those comments.