GUWAHATI: Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia has slammed Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma's statement that constituencies with Opposition MLAs would be solely run by the Minister.
Saikia said that the CM's statement that 'the job of an MLA is to make laws in the Assembly' is frivolous.
"In a parliamentary democracy, the role of ruling and opposition is important and an MLA has an obligation to look after his constituency, apart from carrying out his official role. The Ministers are responsible for carrying out the work of their departments efficiently and the officials are entrusted with the task of implementing government policies," said Saikia.
He underlined that the Constitution does not mention anywhere that ruling party Ministers can usurp the powers of the Opposition MLAs.
"By saying such unconstitutional things, it is being sought to demean the position of Assembly members. We all know that the primary responsibility of MLAs is to make laws, still, MLAs of both ruling and Opposition parties are bound to work for the development of their respective constituencies neutrally, in accordance with established precedent. For this, there is also a system of committees of different departments at the district and constituency level where the chairman is the local MLA, not the central minister, whether he belongs to ruling or Opposition party," Saikia asserted.
Further, Saikia took potshots at the Sarma's statement that Hindu Mahasabha member and founder of Bharatiya Jan Sangha, Shyama Prasad Mookerji introduced the Assamese language in Calcutta University.
He said that Ashutosh Mukherji was the person to do so.
"Since there was no university in Assam, students used to go to Calcutta or Dhaka for studies. It was no love for Assamese that prompted the move. Today Canada has declared Gurmukhi – the Sikh language as the second language because a large number of Sikhs have emigrated there. As Mookerji had not done anything for the Assamese language in West Bengal at that time, there is no reason why he should be compared to Sahityarathi Lakshminath Bezbaruah," said Saikia.
He urged the Chief Minister to pay more attention to administrative work rather than making political statements.
He also underlined that the Supreme Court has directed the Central government to declare COVID as a national disaster and compensate the deceased's kin.
Saikia demanded that every family in Assam suffering from COVID death should be paid Rs 4 lakh as compensation.