GUWAHATI: Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria made his inaugural address during the opening day of the state's budget session.
However, it did not proceed smoothly as it was marked by fierce disruptions as members of the opposition staged a walkout, compelling the governor to end his speech abruptly at just one minute and 20 seconds.
As the Assam Legislative Assembly commenced its Budget session today, on February 5, scheduled to last till February 28, the tumultuous interruptions unfolded in the midst of heightened anticipation.
The session is expected to be a vital forum for holding discussions and the announcement of policies, especially with the upcoming presentation of the state budget for the fiscal year 2024-25 to be tabled by Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog on February 12.
The unexpected end to Governor Kataria's speech marked an unusual start to the proceedings and the routine formalities was eclipsed by the opposition's protests. The heated atmosphere that erupted in the assembly indicated towards a deep-rooted disagreement.
Anticipating potential disruptions, the security measures within the assembly premises had been beefed up ahead of the session.
Despite the preventive steps put in place, the extent to which the opposition voiced their dissent astounded many attendees.
Meanwhile, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had previously announced that the Assam Polygamy Ban Bill would be introduced in the current assembly session.
In addition to it, the Assam Tourism (Development and Registration) Bill, 2024, is all set to be presented, along with some new amendment bills during the Budget Session.
Moreover, Assam Finance Minister Ajanta Neog, expressing a commitment to fiscal responsibility, had pledged to present a "realistic" budget. Neog emphasized the importance of achieving a 100 percent expenditure, citing previous years where expenditure hovered around 80 percent. In an effort to enhance financial efficiency, the finance minister stated, "We are going to try a new formula that if we place a realistic budget then the expenditure will be more."