Former Congress minister’s effigy burnt across the State; BJP, Congress workers clash in Guwahati
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 28: Former minister Nilomoni Sen Deka’s derogatory
remark against Union minister Smriti Irani sparked a furore in the State
on Monday as Congress and BJP workers clashed in Guwahati, leaving at
least 45 people, including four policemen, injured.
Deka had stated in a party rally in lbari that ’Irani is termed
Modi’s second wife in some quarters’, a remark which is an utter
violation of Assamese tradition and culture, known and appreciated for
its moderation and decency.
Some 150 workers of the BJP staged a demonstration in front Deka’s
residence at Ulubari in the city, protesting his remarks against the BJP
leader who addressed a rally at lbari today.
The BJP protestors demanded ouster of Deka from the Congress and police action against him.
The protestors then marched to Rajiv Bhavan and staged a demonstration at the gate shouting slogans against the Congress leader.
Irate members from both sides – BJP protestors outside Rajiv Bhavan
and Congress members inside the premises – then engaged in pelting
stones and water bottles at each other. Though the police chased away
the BJP protestors, they gathered again at the party’s city office
located nearby. Additiol security forces were rushed to the place.
Police lobbed tear gas to disperse the crowd.
APCC president Anjan Dutta said 25 party members were injured when
the BJP demonstrators pelted stones, sticks and bottles towards Rajiv
The Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) distanced itself from
Deka’s statement, saying it was his persol comment and not the APCC’s
"He has already withdrawn the statement. The protest launched today
was uncalled for," Dutta said, adding that his party has lodged an FIR
against four BJP members who led the "attack" on Rajiv Bhavan.
In a quick rejoinder, State BJP president Sarbanda Sonowal showed
TV footages at a press conference and insisted that it was the Congress
which attacked first.
"The BJP was staging a peaceful demonstration protesting a Congress
leader’s remark which insulted the women fraternity. The melee was
designed and pre–planned by the Congress...it is not an isolated one,"
Sonowal said, adding that 16 BJP workers were injured in the incident.
Sonowal also said his party was mulling legal action against Nilomoni Sen Deka.
Four BJP supporters have been arrested in connection with today’s violence. Police have also taken up a suo moto case.
Protests also rocked different parts of Assam on Monday seeking
Congress leader Nilomoni Sen Deka’s ouster from the party. Many
organizations also burnt Deka’s effigy.
Lawyer Benu Dhar th lodged an FIR at Kamalpur police station
against the Congress leader. The OC of Kamalpur forwarded the case to
Rangia sub–divisiol Judicial Magistrate’s court.
The former Assam minister, however, has withdrawn his comment but did not tender any apology as demanded by the BJP.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi also termed the statement of the former Agriculture minister as "despicable and unwarranted".
"I disapprove such comment which is not the culture of Congress. I am
happy Nilomoni Sen Deka understands his fault and tendered an
unconditiol apology," Gogoi said.
Who said what
* I disapprove of such comment which is not the culture of Congress – CM Tarun Gogoi
* The comment has shamed the people of Assam before the entire country – BJP president Sarbanda Sonowal
* It is his persol comment. The party has nothing to do with it. We had thought of issuing a show–casue, but he had already withdrawn the remark– APCC president Anjan Dutta