Home India Politics Opposition disrupts Assam governor’s address

Opposition disrupts Assam governor’s address


Guwahati : Opposition legislators disrupted Assam Governor J.B. Patnaik’s address on the first day of the assembly’s budget session Thursday on the issue of “D (doubtful) voters”, forcing him to leave the speech as read.

Opposition members from the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and the Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) jointly protested when Patnaik expressed the government’s concern over what has come to be termed as ‘D’ voters who must prove their Indian citizenship.

AIUDF legislator Sirajuddin Ajmal, who first raised protests, alleged the government was adopting a double standards by expressing its concern but doing nothing to stop harassment of some genuine citizens by not allowing them to cast votes.

The AGP also supported Ajmal and alleged that the government had failed to address the issue.

“The matter of ‘D voters’ is of concern to my government as a large number of them have been found to be genuine Indians subsequently. Steps will be taken to ensure that the genuine Indians who have been identified as D voters are allowed to exercise all their rights as such citizens, including their right to vote,” said the governor in his speech.

Speaker Pranab Gogoi tried to dissuade the opposition members from disrupting the governor’s speech, but the ruckus continued, forcing the house to take the address as read.

Later, Bashir Hafiz Ahmed of the AIUDF alleged that the government is not serious over the issue and is only trying to keep the issue alive, rather than solve it, for mere political interest.

“The district administrations have forwarded about three lakh cases of ‘D voters’ to the Foreigners Tribunal in the last few years. This large number of people has to struggle years after years to prove the genuineness of their citizenship in the tribunals. Most of the cases also turn out to be negative, yet the government has failed to ensure that genuine citizens are not harassed,” he said.

In his address, Patnaik also mentioned that the government has made notable progress in the restoration of peace in the state. He said a large numbers of extremist outfits have accepted ceasefire because of the efforts of the government.