In a rare political statement from the Chair of the Assembly, Assam speaker Pranab Kumar Gogoi said on Wednesday people of the state will give a “befitting” reply to BJP during the forthcoming polls as Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ignored the interests of the state.
The speaker’s statement came after members of various parties, Congress, AGP and AIUDF, criticised the Prime Minister for ignoring a request from the House to meet an all-party delegation regarding an unanimous resolution passed by the Assembly over the central economic policies.
“Seeing today’s sentiment in the House, irrespective of party line, I think he (Narendra Modi) will get a befitting reply in coming election,” Gogoi said from the Chair.
He also criticised BJP legislature party leader Jadav Chandra Deka for interrupting planning and development minister Ajanta Neog, who said Assam is anticipated to lose around Rs 9,000 crore due to a change in central policies.
The speaker asked Deka not to behave like a “party spokesperson” in the House and he can talk to the media outside as a spokesperson of his party.
When the members inquired if they should go and protest in front of the Prime Minister’s residence, Gogoi said, “I am not going to beg with folded hands in front of anyone for our rights. Deka, please do something if possible by telling your leaders.”
Later, the speaker told media that Union finance minister Arun Jaitley has given time to meet the all-party delegation on February 15 “but we will not go”.
“We have informed the minister that we will only talk to the Prime Minister on this issue,” Gogoi said.
In the House earlier, AGP MLA Phani Bhusan Choudhury raised the issue of reduction in central assistance to the state over a range of schemes.
“It appears that we will not get our dues from the Centre this fiscal as the model code will be applied after around one month. Our development is getting hampered. So a demand from the House should be sent to the Centre for release of funds,” Choudhury said.
He said Modi had not given an appointment to an all-party delegation earlier regarding giving ST status to six communities of the state. “We are being insulted every time,” he said.
Supporting the AGP MLA, party colleague Keshab Mahanta said the Centre’s decision to delink some schemes has created problems for the state.
“The state released Rs 250 crore during floods, but the Centre has not released its share of Rs 1,200 crore. We need to take a bold step to save Assam from financial crisis,” he said.