Leader of the Opposition in Assam Legislative Assembly Debabrata Saikia on December 17 demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, alleging failure of the state government to control the law and order situation during the anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), 2019 protests.
Addressing a press conference in Guwahati, Saikia said, “Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal should resign for his failure to control law and order in the state and also his failure to honour the commitment made to the Assamese people at public rallies as also in the Assam Legislative Assembly. Sonowal seems to have become a mere puppet who did not have the courage to address the media yesterday (December 16) regarding matters of the Home Department, of which he is the head.”
Alleging that instead of protecting the honour of the people, the government is focusing on giving a communal colour to the mass uprising against CAA, Saikia questioned state Cabinet Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s statement that nine out of 10 accused in the vandalism at Sankardev Kalakshetra at Guwahati are Muslims.
“But Assamese society is not religion-based, it is based on language. One should not forget that the victims of firing by Army/police in Guwahati include one Muslim, one Christian and one member of the tea community. I condemn the minister’s attempt to put communal colour to the anti-CAA movement and divide society in order to weaken the movement,” he added.
Saikia also condemned Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah for accusing the Congress of being behind the violent agitation, and terming the non-resident Assamese who protested against the CAA in London as Pakistani agents.
“A BJP MP from Maharashtra went to the extent of stating in Parliament that Majuli is inhabited only by Bangladeshi migrants. Such comments are intended to insult the Assamese people, who are peacefully fighting for their rights,” he said.
He further said, “The government’s dictatorial tendencies are apparent from the way the office of a news channel was invaded and people assaulted. Many Congress workers have been targeted by the BJP government as per the design of the Prime Minister and the Union Home Minister to discredit the Congress and derail the agitation.”
Affirming the Congress’ commitment to the people of Assam, the senior party leader said, “The fact is that we sacrificed a government in 1985 and signed the Assam Accord in the interest of the people of Assam. We also did the spadework for the updated NRC. In recent times, we have steadfastly opposed both versions of the CAB.”
Besides opposing the CAA, the Congress leaders have also approached the Supreme Court against it, Saikia added.