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Irked BJP MLAs continue to let out displeasure

Supporters of MLA go to the extent of calling bandh, damaging vehicles

Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 27: The aggrieved BJP MLAs and their supporters continue to air their displeasure over the ministry expansion. The situation has come to such a pass that the supporters of an MLA have not even hesitated to call a bandh at a time when Dispur has made its tough stand against the bandh culture clear.
The Tiwa Jatiya Aikya Mancha, a staunch supporter of Morigaon MLA Roma Kanta Deori, called central Assam bandh on Friday against Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal not including Deori in his ministry. The protesters resorted to pelt stones at vehicles, leaving a number of them damaged. The bandh was called at a time when Dispur has made the Gauhati High Court known its stand against the bandh culture in the State. A question that arises now is: will the BJP take disciplinary action against Deori?
MLA Deori has openly criticized the BJP on Friday. Talking to newsmen here, he said that a conspiracy has been hatched to spell doom for the Tiwa community by dividing it. “A plot hatched by Union minister Rajen Gohain has deprived me of a ministerial berth. I’m ashamed of joining the BJP. I’ve not been reciprocated for leaving the post of Chief Executive Member (CEM) of the Tiwa Autonomous Council (TAC),” he said.
When asked as to why the bandh has been called, Deori denied having advised anyone to call bandh.
Reacting to the agitations by the supporters of Deori, BJP’s Khumtai MLA Mrinal Saikia said that steps should be taken against the MLA if he is behind the agitation.
Sonai MLA Aminul Haque Lashkar continues to express his displeasure. “The Barak Valley has been ignored. If not three, at least two ministers should be from the Barak Valley in Team Sonowal. The people in the valley are unhappy,” he said.
Meanwhile, BPF minister Pramila Rani Brahma is also worried over the Forest portfolio taken from her. “I’m sad. I was working hard to run the department smoothly, and the department is thriving now,” she said.
Meanwhile, two of the newly inducted ministers – Chandan Brahma as Tourism Minister and Topon Kumar Gogoi as Power Minister – took charge on Friday. Education Minister Siddhartha Bhattachrya visited his office at Janata Bhawan on Friday but stop short of taking charge. The other five ministers are supposed to take charge in May as there are four holidays from April 28.
Talking to reporters, Chandan Brahma said: “The Tourism department has already picked up its momentum. I will keep trying to keep the tempo as the State has rich tourism potential.”
Topon Kumar Gogoi said: “Power will be a challenge in the State. I’ll try to give the public my best.”  

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Ankur Kalita