GUWAHATI, April 8 - In this hour of crisis, all the legislators should rise above party politics and work together to prevent the spreading of COVID-19 and no one should make any irresponsible comment, said the Speaker of the Assam Legislative Assembly, Hitendra Nath Goswami.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Goswami expressed his displeasure over the controversial comments made by All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) legislator Aminul Islam, which led to his arrest. He said that the law would take its own course after the arrest of the MLA.
Goswami said that day before yesterday, he got a call from the police, who wanted to question Islam about his comments on the social media. �Thereafter, even before arresting him, the police followed the standard protocol and informed me,� he added. The legislators are not above the law and they would face action if they make irresponsible statements in this hour of crisis, he said.
The Assembly Speaker said that at this hour of crisis , all the MLAs should behave in a responsible manner and Islam behaved irresponsibly by questioning the move to quarantine people, who came in touch with those affected by COVID 19. He revealed that even he himself had gone for self quarantine for 14 days as his daughter had returned from Mumbai.
Goswami said that the activities of the public representatives should set an example for the society and if any public representative makes any irresponsible statement, it is not acceptable. He said that if the MLAs start behaving in a irresponsible manner, people would lose faith in democracy, which would be very unfortunate.
The Speaker said that all the legislators should keep watch on the situation in their respective constituencies and help out the people, particularly the poor people.
�At this hour, the MLAs should always stress on maintaining social distancing and encourage all sections of people to follow the directives of the Health Department. The MLAs themselves should also maintain social distance. Anyone in need can contact the MLAs over phone and they, in turn, can contact the concerned officials over phone to solve the problems of the people,� he said.
Goswami welcomed the decision of the Government to go for 30 per cent salary cut of all the Ministers and MLAs for one year and use the money for fighting COVID-19. These days, the salaries of the MLAs have increased considerably and they should not have any major problem because of 30 per cent salary cut, he added. He also lauded the efforts of the health care workers including doctors, nurses, cleaners etc, police and others who are risking their lives to serve the people.