The Assam Congress condemned the withdrawal of Debabrata Saikia’s Leader of Opposition at the Assam Legislative Assembly status by Speaker of the House Hitendra Nath Goswami which is a clear political move just ahead of the state election.
The speaker of the ALA is acting as a BJP agent rather than the speaker of the house. While withdrawing the Leader of the Opposition status, he claimed that the number of the Congress MLAs in the house is not sufficient to be in opposition whereas it has been witnessed that many states in India have opposition which are less than 1/6th in number and still have a Leader of Opposition, informed Chairperson, Media Department, Assam Pradesh Congress Committee, Bobbeeta Sharma in a press statement.
She further stated that as per section 2 of the Salary and Allowance of the Leader of the Opposition in Assam Legislative Assembly Act, 1978 “Leader of Opposition” means that member of the Legislative Assembly who is, for the time being, the leader of the party in opposition to the Government having the greatest numerical strength and recognised as such by the Speaker. Thus, the act does not state that the number of MLAs to be in Opposition should be 1/6th.
“This means when there are two or more parties in opposition to the Government having the same numerical strength, the Speaker shall, having regard to the status of the parties, recognise any one of the Leaders of such parties as the Leader of the Opposition for the purpose of this section and such recognition shall be final and conclusive,” said Bobeeta Sharma.
Presently, the strength of ALA is 119 instead of 126, hence, Debabrata Saikia should have still been the Leader of Opposition, claimed Sharma.
Assam Congress also alleged that the ruling Government BJP is using this issue as an electoral stunt. “People of the state as well as the entire country are aware of the dirty politics the BJP has been involved in. BJP has done no visible development rather, the only thing they have done is divide the people into communal and religious lines,” alleged Bobbeata Sharma.
Meanwhile, a letter for the restoration of the Leader of Opposition status of Debabrata Saikia has also been forwarded to Assam Governor Prof Jagdish Mukhi undersigned by AICC Secretary Bhupen Kumar Borah and MP Barpeta Abdul Khaleque.