The Congress has accused Assam Assembly Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami of acting as a “BJP agent” for withdrawing the recognition of its MLA Debabrata Saikia as the Leader of Opposition.

In a setback to Congress, the Assembly Speaker on Tuesday withdrew the recognition of its legislature party leader Saikia as the Leader of Opposition.

Congress media cell chairperson Bobbeeta Sharma in a statement on Thursday said the Speaker took the decision with a clear political motive just ahead of the state assembly elections.

“The Speaker of the assembly is acting as a BJP agent rather than the speaker of the august house,” Sarma said.

She said that many states in India, have opposition leaders despite the opposition parties having less than one-sixth strength of the total membership of the assembly.

The strength of the Congress in the Assembly has reduced to 20.

Former Assam PWD Minister and Congress MLA from Golaghat Ajanta Neog and party’s Lakhipur constituency legislator Rajdeep Gowala joined the ruling BJP last week.

With the exit of these two and the deaths of former Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and ex-Speaker Pranab Gogoi, both Congress legislators, the numbers were depleted.

Assam Assembly officials said that after the resignation of two Congress MLAs recently, the strength of the Congress in the house has come down to 20, one less than the required number in the 126-member Assembly.

An Assembly official said that the present strength of the Congress legislature party is not equal to the quorum fixed to constitute a sitting of the House, which is one-sixth of the total number of members of the House as required under the law.

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