GUWAHATI, Oct 1: The State is witness to 13 Assam bandhs and 16 local bandhs so far in 2018. Each day of Assam bandh robs the State of Rs 6,780 lakh. The loss which the State has to incur in each day local bandh, however, cannot be estimated.
This is the bandh culture in the raw which a section of organizations and people in the State have inculcated. The issue came up for discussion on the floor of the House when BJP MLA Mrinal Saikia raised it and said that despite a standing order from the Supreme Court of India against bandhs, the State Government is not taking any action against those calling bandhs and road blockades.
The discussion on bandh has elicited a statement from the Speaker that exposes the fair-weather friendship between those calling bandhs and political parties. Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami said: “Protest is a democratic right, but one has to take care of not violating the democratic rights of others while establishing one’s democratic right to protest. Political parties supporting bandhs while in opposition and opposing them while in power is a common practice. The parties have to shun this practice. If there’s a verdict against bandhs by the court, it’s imperative on the part of the State Government to respect the court order by obeying it.”