GUWAHATI, Jan 30 - The Budget Session of the Assam Legislative Assembly got off to a noisy start today with the Opposition Congress and AIUDF disrupting the Governor�s speech.
The protests and slogans from Congress and AIUDF MLAs forced Governor Banwarilal Purohit to wrap up his speech within seven minutes, having read just two pages of an 88-page speech.
First it was the AIUDF that registered its protest when the party legislators opposed the Governor�s statement that the State Government has been �bringing about qualitative changes in governance, guided by the ideals of Mahapurush Srimanta Sankaradeva, Mahapurush Madhavdeva and Ajan Pir.�
The AIUDF MLAs insisted that the government had been acting �communally� and had shown disregard to the ideals of the great men and saints. �Whether it is eviction drives or NRC update, the government is acting communally. The Governor�s claims are not true,� AIUDF leader Hafiz Bashir Ahmed Kasimi said.
After a few seconds when the Governor asserted that the government has ensured �good governance for all�, both AIUDF and Congress legislators took to their feet, alleging that the government has failed miserably in this aspect.
Governor Purohit and Deputy Speaker Dilip Paul, who was in the chair, tried to pacify the Opposition benches. �We can discuss it later,� Purohit said, as he tried to continue with the speech. But as the Opposition continued creating a din in the House, the Governor�s speech was concluded within seven minutes and taken as read.
Outside the House, Congress legislator Rakibul Hussain alleged that the claims of good governance are an eyewash. �The government is taking selective action. It is not acting against its people. There is no reflection of the failures of the government in the speech like its inability to give textbooks,� Hussain said.
Raising the issue of hardships faced by people due to demonetisation, former chief minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters that the Governor�s speech is stating what the government will do. �We want to know what the government has done so far,� he said.
In his 88-page speech, Governor Purohit said about 97 per cent of the field verification works (of 68.2 lakh applications) of the NRC update exercise has been completed. �Of about 5.9 crore documents, the verification is complete for five crore. Another 3.55 crore documents have been sent to other states for verification,� he said.
The Governor said the eviction drives to protect religious, cultural and ecological lands are being carried out with caution while following the process of law. The floodlighting works along the Indo-Bangla border have been completed and electricity service connection to them will be completed in the next few months, he said.
Mentioning about various schemes taken up to boost the agriculture sector, the Governor said the �Mission Organic Value Chain� scheme taken up from this financial year will help in exploring the organic potentiality of the State.
On the Home department, the Governor said process is on to recruit personnel for 4,394 posts. Another 5,013 men will be recruited soon even as the government proposes to raise five AP(IR) battalions.
The government, he said, proposes to make 100 per cent wifi hotspot coverage of the gaon panchayats in Majuli and one gaon panchayat in Kaliabor during this year. A new information technology policy for Assam will be promulgated in 2017 to boost the IT, ITeS, BPO and electronics manufacturing industries in the State besides attracting outside investment.
On the power front, the Governor said a gas-based project of 30 MW capacity in Cachar district is under consideration. Preliminary activities for development of 120 MW Lower Kopili hydroelectric project are in progress and the Asian Development Bank has agreed to fund it. A solar power plant at Chandrapur is also under consideration.
Purohit said proposals have been sent to the Central Government for providing more sophisticated arms to forest personnel like SLRs, 9mm pistols, carbines and AK-series rifles.
The government also intends to make the State open-defecation-free within October 2 this year.