Guwahati, July 5: The opposition Congress on Monday criticised Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over narcotic drugs trade and cattle smuggling in Assam, and asked why he was silent for the last five years on these issues despite being a prominent minister in the BJP-led government of the state.
Addressing a press conference here, Assam Congress President Ripun Bora said the recent crackdown on cow smuggling to neighbouring Bangladesh and police raids on drug peddlers all over the state have brought to light many facts.
"As stated by the CM Himanta Biswa Sarna himself, it (the two illegal trades) had generated Rs 1,000 crore business every day. Surely the illegal businesses of cow trade and drugs did not start just two months ago, that is from May 2, 2021," he said. The results of the state assembly elections were announced on May 2. It is obvious that such illegal activities were going on during the previous BJP government headed by former Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Bora said.
"So what stopped the present CM from acting then? Wasn't he a prominent minister of the same government? Wasn't he part and parcel of the same government? The fact that the Congress party was raising the issue of illegal cow smuggling for a long time and has been vindicated," he added. Sarma had held various portfolios such as finance, health and education in the Sonowal government. Since May 10, the police have arrested more than 1,250 people for their alleged involvement in the drugs trade and seized goods worth nearly Rs 132 crore.
A large number of people have also been arrested for cow smuggling into Bangladesh and dozens of cattle have been rescued from their clutches.