Leader of Opposition in Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia. Image credit - Twitter

Leader of the Opposition in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Debabrata Saikia, has asked chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, to intervene into Rupjyoti Kurmi’s protest.

The Congress legislator from Mariani LAC in Jorhat district Rupjyoti Kurmi is on an indefinite hunger strike which has already entered the second day and crossed 29 hours. Kurmi has resorted to a hunger strike in the interest of the tea garden workers of Assam.

Kurmi is demanding written assurances from the state government regarding payment of 20 per cent annual bonus to the tea garden workers.

He is also demanding convening of a discussion between the workers and tea garden managements on a specified date to resolve the bonus issue.

Saikia said that both these demands were reasonable and legitimate because the Durga Puja festival was knocking at the door.

“The BJP-led state government has been adept at giving sops to the tea garden workers on the eve of elections,” Saikia said.

“Now that almost 40 lakh workers associated directly and indirectly with the tea industry are faced with the prospect of truncated annual bonus, the government must chip in with subsidy if the tea garden managements cite the plea of financial crisis,” Saikia added.

He further said that if the government headed by Sonowal could announce using a corpus of Rs 300 crore to host the Filmfare Awards in Guwahati, then it could and should help the tea garden managements with financial assistance to ensure that the cash-strapped tea garden workers of Assam receive the annual bonus which was due to them.

Saikia has urged Sonowal to do his duty to the tea garden workers of Assam and, thereby, prevent any threat to  Kurmi’s health and well-being.

Smita Bhattacharyya

Smita Bhattacharyya is Northeast Now Correspondent in Jorhat. She can be reached at: triptyaddy@gmail.com

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