Assam government on Friday came under fire from the opposition for the absence of ministers in the House during the ongoing budget session of the Assembly.
In an unprecedented incident, which many have dubbed as government’s blatant disregard for democratic institutions, none of the ministers including Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal were present in the second half of the ongoing Assembly session on Friday.
As the House met for the day, the Opposition pointed out the absence of all the ministers and the vacant front row of the treasury benches to the Chair and questioned whether they should address the vacant benches.
Following the objections from the opposition parties—Congress and AIUDF—Deputy Speaker Dilip Paul had to adjourn the house for some time.
Expressing their displeasure, both Congress and AIUDF said the government was not interested in running the House.
“The present government has shown that they have no regard for the democratic institutions. As ministers, they should be present in the assembly as they are answerable to people. However, their cavalier attitude show they don’t care about democracy,” Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) leader and former Minister Pradyut Bordoloi told Northeast Now.
AIUDF MLA Suzam Uddin Laskar said ministers are more concerned about party works rather than their portfolios.
“Look at Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma. He is busy in campaigning for the upcoming assembly election in Tripura. He has forgot that he hold two very important portfolios- finance and education. This the problem precisely with other ministers as well. They give more importance to party works. They don’t care about the problem of the people,” Laskar said.
BPF legislator Emmanuel Mooshahary said that ministers and MLAs from his party had to leave early because of Bodoland Day.
“This is obviously not right. Minimum attendance of ministers is necessary. I think the respective parties should issue a whip,” he said.
BPF is a key ally of the Sonowal-led Assam government.