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Opp stages sit-in demonstration over State�s burning issues

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, July 20 - Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia today staged a sit-in demonstration on the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Library building premises of the Assembly in protest against what he termed �vindictive incarceration� of KMSS supremo Akhil Gogoi by the State government, non-release of pending funds to Assam for flood relief and flood management by the Central government, steep increase in the prices of essential commodities in the State and the alleged use of the COVID-19 pandemic for �political one-upmanship� by the government.

Saikia was joined in the protest by Lok Sabha MPs Gaurav Gogoi and Abdul Khaleque, Rajya Sabha MP Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, MLA Dr Motiur Rahman Mandal, former State minister Siddique Ahmed, KMSS adviser HM Shahjahan, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) general secretary Pradyut Bhuyan, APCC secretaries Rupak Sarma and Raman Jha, NSUI State president Jyotibikash Changmai, APCC spokesperson Kamal Medhi, APCC Minority Cell chairman Salman Khan and other functionaries of the Youth Congress and NSUI.

Regarding Akhil Gogoi, Saikia said while even the NIA had failed to furnish any proof so far, the BJP-led State government was slapping case after case upon the KMSS leader �because of his resolute opposition to the controversial CAA and other anti-Assam acts of the BJP�. He demanded immediate release of Akhil Gogoi on bail.

Saikia alleged that the Centre has not released any aid to Assam under the NDRF head during the last three-four years.

He said Congress leaders of Assam had submitted memoranda to the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister, the Union Water Resources Minister and the DoNER Minister in August last year and requested urgent release of Central funds to tackle the perennial flood problem of Assam.

�They had urged the Prime Minister to declare Assam�s flood crisis as a �national problem�, but their appeals fell on deaf ears. The Prime Minister has ample time to wish his followers on their birthdays, but he has not found the time to even acknowledge receipt of the memorandum submitted by the Congress party, let alone taking effective action on its basis to resolve various problems confronting Assam, including the recurrent floods. This is an illustrative example of Narendra Modi�s ostensible love for the people of Assam,� Saikia said.

Saikia claimed that there is ample evidence of the State government�s failure to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Assam.

�Apart from the negligence which was exposed in the Guwahati Central Jail, there are countless reports of wrong test results, premature release of COVID-19 patients, faulty implementation of quarantine norms, etc., from across the State,� he said.

Saikia alleged that the State government is trying to gain political mileage out of the situation. �The Opposition leaders are being prevented from reaching out to the public on the pretext of COVID-19, but the BJP leaders are being given a free run to interact with the public without maintaining even basic safeguards. As a result, numerous people in certain areas have either been infected by the disease or have had to undergo quarantine after coming into contact with BJP MLAs and other leaders,� said the senior Congress leader.

Saikia claimed that on the one hand the COVID-related lockdowns have deprived countless families of regular income, and on the other hand skyrocketing prices of foodstuff, vegetables, medicines, and petrol and diesel, among other items, are compounding the plight of the common man.

It is noteworthy that Saikia had earlier sought permission from the City Commissioner of Police to stage the sit-in protest on the Ganesh Mandir Park premises abutting the Assembly campus, but was denied permission on the plea of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, Saikia stated that the State government is using contrasting safety measures for ruling party members and Opposition leaders.

Speaking on the occasion, Gaurav Gogoi said that the BJP-led government has failed dismally in Assam and alleged that the people of the State are suffering due to the �tussle for the chief ministership between incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma�.

�The Chief Minister recently announced that the NITI Aayog has set up a one-man committee to study the flood problem of Assam. The government has failed to construct embankments, roads and bridges on time and such a committee will be of no avail to the flood-affected people of the State now. Similarly, the Health and Family Welfare Minister was travelling all over the State in the name of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Centre has now been forced to express concern at the spurt of COVID-19 cases in Assam,� said Gogoi.

Congress MP Khaleque demanded immediate release of Akhil Gogoi as well as Debangana Kalita, a student from Assam who has been held in custody by the Delhi Police for her participation in the anti-CAA protests in the national capital.

Ajit Bhuyan said that all those who believe in regionalism and nationalism should come together to protect the interests of Assam.

Medhi alleged that the BJP does not believe in the Constitution or democracy. �Akhil Gogoi has been kept behind bars for such a long time only to further the party�s agenda of communal polarisation. However, the people of Assam are already speaking up against such injustice,� he said.

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Opp stages sit-in demonstration over State�s burning issues

GUWAHATI, July 20 - Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia today staged a sit-in demonstration on the Lokapriya Gopinath Bordoloi Library building premises of the Assembly in protest against what he termed �vindictive incarceration� of KMSS supremo Akhil Gogoi by the State government, non-release of pending funds to Assam for flood relief and flood management by the Central government, steep increase in the prices of essential commodities in the State and the alleged use of the COVID-19 pandemic for �political one-upmanship� by the government.

Saikia was joined in the protest by Lok Sabha MPs Gaurav Gogoi and Abdul Khaleque, Rajya Sabha MP Ajit Kumar Bhuyan, MLA Dr Motiur Rahman Mandal, former State minister Siddique Ahmed, KMSS adviser HM Shahjahan, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) general secretary Pradyut Bhuyan, APCC secretaries Rupak Sarma and Raman Jha, NSUI State president Jyotibikash Changmai, APCC spokesperson Kamal Medhi, APCC Minority Cell chairman Salman Khan and other functionaries of the Youth Congress and NSUI.

Regarding Akhil Gogoi, Saikia said while even the NIA had failed to furnish any proof so far, the BJP-led State government was slapping case after case upon the KMSS leader �because of his resolute opposition to the controversial CAA and other anti-Assam acts of the BJP�. He demanded immediate release of Akhil Gogoi on bail.

Saikia alleged that the Centre has not released any aid to Assam under the NDRF head during the last three-four years.

He said Congress leaders of Assam had submitted memoranda to the Prime Minister, the Union Home Minister, the Union Water Resources Minister and the DoNER Minister in August last year and requested urgent release of Central funds to tackle the perennial flood problem of Assam.

�They had urged the Prime Minister to declare Assam�s flood crisis as a �national problem�, but their appeals fell on deaf ears. The Prime Minister has ample time to wish his followers on their birthdays, but he has not found the time to even acknowledge receipt of the memorandum submitted by the Congress party, let alone taking effective action on its basis to resolve various problems confronting Assam, including the recurrent floods. This is an illustrative example of Narendra Modi�s ostensible love for the people of Assam,� Saikia said.

Saikia claimed that there is ample evidence of the State government�s failure to stop the spread of COVID-19 in Assam.

�Apart from the negligence which was exposed in the Guwahati Central Jail, there are countless reports of wrong test results, premature release of COVID-19 patients, faulty implementation of quarantine norms, etc., from across the State,� he said.

Saikia alleged that the State government is trying to gain political mileage out of the situation. �The Opposition leaders are being prevented from reaching out to the public on the pretext of COVID-19, but the BJP leaders are being given a free run to interact with the public without maintaining even basic safeguards. As a result, numerous people in certain areas have either been infected by the disease or have had to undergo quarantine after coming into contact with BJP MLAs and other leaders,� said the senior Congress leader.

Saikia claimed that on the one hand the COVID-related lockdowns have deprived countless families of regular income, and on the other hand skyrocketing prices of foodstuff, vegetables, medicines, and petrol and diesel, among other items, are compounding the plight of the common man.

It is noteworthy that Saikia had earlier sought permission from the City Commissioner of Police to stage the sit-in protest on the Ganesh Mandir Park premises abutting the Assembly campus, but was denied permission on the plea of the COVID-19 pandemic. In this context, Saikia stated that the State government is using contrasting safety measures for ruling party members and Opposition leaders.

Speaking on the occasion, Gaurav Gogoi said that the BJP-led government has failed dismally in Assam and alleged that the people of the State are suffering due to the �tussle for the chief ministership between incumbent Sarbananda Sonowal and Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma�.

�The Chief Minister recently announced that the NITI Aayog has set up a one-man committee to study the flood problem of Assam. The government has failed to construct embankments, roads and bridges on time and such a committee will be of no avail to the flood-affected people of the State now. Similarly, the Health and Family Welfare Minister was travelling all over the State in the name of tackling the COVID-19 pandemic, but the Centre has now been forced to express concern at the spurt of COVID-19 cases in Assam,� said Gogoi.

Congress MP Khaleque demanded immediate release of Akhil Gogoi as well as Debangana Kalita, a student from Assam who has been held in custody by the Delhi Police for her participation in the anti-CAA protests in the national capital.

Ajit Bhuyan said that all those who believe in regionalism and nationalism should come together to protect the interests of Assam.

Medhi alleged that the BJP does not believe in the Constitution or democracy. �Akhil Gogoi has been kept behind bars for such a long time only to further the party�s agenda of communal polarisation. However, the people of Assam are already speaking up against such injustice,� he said.