AGARTALA, Feb 18 � The opening day of the Budget Session of the Tripura Assembly today witnessed uproarious scenes with Opposition Congress legislators protesting Governor Devananda Konwar�s speech for �bypassing the issue of crimes against women in the State.� In accordance with the convention, the Governor started reading out his speech, highlighting the success of the State Government in different fields at 11 am.
However, trouble began when Konwar said that the law-and-order situation in the State has been under control, and that the activities of the insurgents have been further restricted. Opposition leader Sudip Roy Barman and other Congress legislators stood up and protested against the Governor�s remarks. As Konwar went on with his speech, Congress MLAs rushed to the well of the House and raised slogans before the Governor.
The Congress legislators wanted the Governor to speak on the rising incidents of crimes against women. However, Konwar did not pay heed to the Opposition�s demand and continued reading out his 31-page speech.
The Governor touched on various issues from global recession to the commissioning of the Palatana power plant and �deprivation� by the 13th Finance Commission. But he did not utter a word on the recent rape case at Murapara. He also did not make any mention of the alleged UGT job scam.
Konwar said, �I hope the newly-formed government in Bangladesh will further strengthen the bonds of friendship between India and Bangladesh, leading to early resolution of the unsettled issues for the benefit of both countries.�
Despite a lull in extremist activities, there is no cause for complacency as insurgents have set up camps across the border with the assistance of the ISI and other fundamentalist groups, the Governor said, adding that the Assam-Agartala National Highway (NH-44) would immediately be converted into a two-lane road. He said that the State Government has already handed over 71.99 hectares of land to the Airport Authority of India (AAI) to upgrade the existing Agartala Airport.
At 11.35 am, the Opposition members staged a walkout in protest against the Governor�s speech which, they felt, ignored the burning issues of the State. Later, talking to media persons, Opposition leader Roy Barman said, �We thought that the Governor, being the Constitutional head, would condemn the rape incidents and console the victims in his speech. However, we are stunned by the way in which he skipped those incidents. It seems he (the Governor) is toeing the line of Chief Minister Manik Sarkar.�