CRACKDOWN ON BJP PROTESTERS
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, Dec 10: In a first sign of the revival of the AGP-BJP camaraderie ahead of the next year's assembly elections, AGP legislator Keshav Mahanta today demanded a statement from the State government on police crackdown on the "democratic protest" staged by the BJP on Wednesday.
Soon after the question hour ended at the assembly today, Mahanta stood up and said, "We want a statement from the government as to why it suppressed the democratic protest staged by the BJP yesterday."
The demand sparked protests from the ruling MLAs who insisted that the BJP did not have the permission from the administration to hold the protest programme.
However, an unconvinced Mahanta then wondered how Youth Congress activists could hold a demonstration with placards inside the assembly premises a day before. "The government should come clear and give a statement," he said.
Speaker Prab Kumar Gogoi, however, ruled that "this was not the right time to seek the statement."
"Is the law different for different organizations? When the Youth Congress activists were allowed to hold a demonstration inside the assembly premises, why did the government crack down on the BJP programme?" an angry Mahanta told reporters outside.
The development comes amidst reports that the AGP and BJP are holding backdoor negotiations to clinch a seat sharing deal for the assembly elections.
Both the parties had an alliance in the 2006 assembly elections.
Meanwhile, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi described as "unfortute" Union Minister for Parliamentary Affairs M. Venkaiah idu's comment that the Assam government's action against agitating BJP leaders and workers was a 'display of intolerance'.
"Union Minister Venkaiah idu being a Parliamentary Affairs Minister must know that it is undemocratic to storm a House when the session is on," Gogoi said, adding that he (idu) must make it clear whether a government can be a mute spectator when attempts are being made to disturb the law and order situation.
"Will he allow protestors to gherao Parliament? The rule of law must prevail. No one can hold the State to ransom," Gogoi said in a statement in the evening.