BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 1: The rift between Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Assembly Speaker Prab Kumar Gogoi on the filization of the Assamese definition widened further with the Chief Minister indirectly criticizing the Speaker for not holding discussions on the issue with parties like the Congress, the BJP, the AGP and the AIUDF before placing the report in the House on Tuesday.
Speaking to mediapersons here on Wednesday, the Chief Minister said, “The Speaker did not talk to all the stakeholders on the filization of the Assamese definition. He should have talked to all concerned before tabling it in the Assembly.”
The Chief Minister said that there should be a debate in the Assembly on the issue before passing it. “The government cannot take any decision without any debate on the issue in the House,” he added.
Meanwhile, the Speaker sent the report prepared by him on the issue to the Chief Minister on Wednesday. The ruling Congress and the AIUDF on Tuesday stymied the Speaker’s initiative to facilitate the State government in defining the term ‘Assamese’, as they blocked tabling of the report prepared after consulting 53 ethnic, literary, cultural and student organizations, describing it as the Speaker’s “persol views”.
The Congress and the AIUDF legislators took umbrage that the Speaker did not consult the MLAs while preparing the report and that “under no rule, can such a report be tabled in the House.”
The Speaker on Tuesday noted: “After considering all aspects, I am of the opinion that to implement the Clause 6 of the Assam Accord (constitutiol safeguard), we need a definition for indigenous Assamese. That is why we have to take 1951 as the base year and 1951 NRC as the basis,” asking the State government to look into the report for taking necessary steps.
On the other hand, former Chief Minister and AGP MLA Prafulla Kumar Mahanta on Wednesday said the Chief Minister did not have the courage to face all the members in the House while the report on the Assamese definition was being tabled by the Speaker on Tuesday. “At that time, the Chief Minister was in the Assembly premises,” Mahanta said.
Mahanta also criticized the trend of giving answers by other ministers on behalf of the Chief Minister when it comes to questions relating to the Home and Fince departments which are in the hands of the Chief Minister.
However, the AGP has welcomed the Speaker’s initiative in this regard.