Opposition slams Assam Budget as ‘anti-people’

Ajanta Neog, the state's first woman finance minister, presented a Rs 566 crore deficit budget for 2021-22.

Guwahati: Opposition parties of Assam on Friday criticized the state budget presented in the Assembly, claiming that it is “anti-people”, with no real proposals to address the burning issues, including price rise.

The budget spoke more of long-term plans rather than concentrating on what or how much can be achieved in a year, Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia of the Congress said.

Ajanta Neog, the state’s first woman finance minister, presented a Rs 566 crore deficit budget for 2021-22.

“People are facing a hard time due to COVID and price rise. We expected some measures to offer succour from price rise especially. But there is no proposal to control the prices,” Saikia said.

The BJP-led government has even failed to propose concrete ways to implement its promises made to people before the assembly election held earlier this year, he claimed.

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“We expected some better management and manoeuvering this year as we have a woman finance minister. But sadly, it was not seen,” the Congress leader added.

AIUDF general secretary and legislator Aminul Islam claimed that the budget has no focus on creating assets.

“The poor and common man has been affected by price rise. But there is no proposal to control price rise.

“The Budget is only for creating beneficiaries. And even when it comes to government schemes, there is no equitable distribution of benefits,” he said.

Islam also criticised that only Rs 77 crore has been earmarked for the development of minority community which forms one-third of the state’s population.

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“There is no proposal for land survey and land rights in char (riverine) areas or the plain tribes. This budget is for the rich and upper-middle-class, not for the common man,” Islam added.

Congress led alliance urges EC to maintain transparency

The Congress led ‘Mahajot’ combining AIUDF, BPF CPI(M), CPI(ML) Liberation, Anchalik Gana Morcha, Adivasi National Party, RJD and Jimachayan Peoples Party submitted a memorandum today to Election Commission urging it to maintain transparency and fair counting of votes on May 2. It has to be noted that Election Commission has been immensely criticised during the second phase of voting when EVMS were found in a car of a ruling party, BJP’s candidate Krishnendu Paul after which the Election Commission has suspended three polling officials and ordered for a re-poll on 20th April 2021.

In the memorandum they requested the EC to direct all the returning officers to maintain table-wise details of the officials engaged in the counting of votes to all the contesting candidates. They also demanded to ensure proper video recording of the counting tables and the whole process. They urged the EC to allow the agent of contesting candidates to be present in the strong room when it would be opened and till the counting process is over.

The parties strongly demanded that the returning officers be directed to furnish details to all candidates about the number of postal ballots issued, those received so far and the number of absentee voters. The alliance also demanded that directions be issued to count all the postal ballots, ballots collected from homes of absentee voters and election duty certificates before the counting of EVMs is taken up. They urged the EC to direct all the returning officers not to begin the next round of counting till a round is completed and recorded.
A copy of memorandum was submitted to Nitin Khade, Assam Chief Electoral Officer in presence of all the party leaders.

AIUDF TO CONTEST 24 SEATS IN ASSAM ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

Guwahati: The All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) will field its candidates in 24 constituencies for the upcoming Assam assembly elections. AIUDF will contest for 21 seats as an ally of the Congress-led grand alliance. The party will contest 3 other seats in a friendly manner.

The seats where the Badruddin Ajmal-led party will field its candidates are:

Jamunamukh
Bilasipara West
Mankachar
Sonai
Dhubri
Jania
Sarukhetri
Abhayapuri South
Bhabanipur
Dhing
Dolgaon
Naoboicha
Bilasipara East
Katlichera
Goalpara West
Jaleswar
Gauripur
South Karimganj
Badarpur
Algapur
Hailakandi

 

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Health sub centre acts as cowshed in Barpeta

Kalampur, a minority-dominated village under Jania Gram Panchayat in Barpeta district has got no health sub-centre. A budget was allotted in the year 2014 and construction did start but is not completed even after 5 years.

The designated contractor left the building half-built and left, said one of the villagers.

The building now acts as a cowshed. As per conversation with the community, this village is submerged under floodwater for around 5 months a year and lacks proper school and hospital facilities.

What adds to this further is that the village head doesn't live here and the villagers have to travel a long distance daily for around 4 days minimum for getting a sign of him. They further stated that the teachers don't come to the schools regularly and no School Management Committee is operational. When asked what the biggest challenge they face is, they replied saying, “lack of proper road is the biggest problem”.

It is to be noted that the MLA of this constituency is Hafiz Rafiqul Islam of AIUDF.

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Congress, AIUDF leaders walk out of Winter Assembly Session

AIUDF legislators walked out of the Assam Assembly over the Government’s decision to shut down Madrassa by introducing a new bill on the first day of the three-day winter assembly session which began on Monday.

Assam Cabinet Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma earlier this morning took Twitter saying, “Today I shall introduce a Bill to repeal Provincialisation of Madrassa. Once the Bill is passed, the practice of running Madrassa by the Government in Assam will come to an end, a practice which was started by Muslim League govt in pre-Independence Assam.”

Speaking to media, the leaders of the AIUDF as they walked out of the session demanded the withdrawal of the bill saying, “India is a secular nation and there are no differences between a school and the ‘Madrassa’. The State Government is trying to taking political mileage by using the Arabic wording ‘Madrassa’ and polarize the vote ahead of the assembly elections. The courses and syllabus which are available in the High schools are similar in the Madrassa as well. We demand the education system of the ‘Madrassa’ should remain the same, nevertheless, if the Government wants to modernize the education system by introducing new courses we don’t have any issue with that.”

Meanwhile, the winter session of the Assembly was adjourned for 10 minutes after Congress legislators staged a walkout during the winter session of the Assembly.

Leader of Opposition, Debabrata Saikia alleged that the Government of Assam has failed to resolve the border issues with neighbouring states like Mizoram, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, etc. “Though they came to power in the state in 2016 making promises to protect the ‘JATI MATI BHETI’ (community, land and hearth), but literally failed to safeguard the people of Assam in the borders. No measures have been taken into consideration, which is very sad,” said Saikia.

“More than 50 times, people from the neighbouring states like Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland has crossed the border and encroached inside the territory of Assam. Shockingly, two people have been killed during a clash in the borders of Assam,” added Saikia.

Saikia further informed that as per the latest data, at least 5 lakh people of Assam both Upper and Lower have become homeless due to soil erosion by the Brahmaputra River. But, no proper schemes have been introduced so far by the Govt of Assam, Saikia claimed.

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Facebook ‘Fact Checkers’ Flags video uploaded by Himanta, terms it ‘False Information’

Aziz Khan shouldn't have kept a name resembling Pakistan: Himanta Biswa Sarma

Guwahati: Facebook 'Independent Fact-Checkers' has verified the claim made by Himanta Biswa Sarma about the pro-Pakistan slogans raised at Assam's Silchar Airport by the members of AIUDF upon arrival of its supremo Maulana Badruddin Ajmal as fake.

Facebook which was alleged to be favouring the ruling party by promoting hate speeches and fake news has now established its neutrality by this act.

Two days back Himanta had shared a video where he falsely claimed that the supporters of AIUDF were shouting Pakistan Zindabad. After fact check by Alt News, it was verified that the crowd was shouting Aziz Khan Zindabad and not Pakistan. The news was reported without proper fact-checking by two pro-Government portals called OpIndia and The Frustated India. It is to be mentioned that both the news channels are blacklisted by Wikipedia for allegedly spreading communal fake news.

When the media asked Himanta about this, he sidelined this in a lighter note by saying that South Karimganj MLA Aziz Khan shouldn't have kept a name resembling Pakistan.

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'Lakhs of words in Assamese language have come from Arabic': Ajmal's remark stirs fresh controversy

Guwahati: At a time when a section of people in the state raised question over Badruddin Ajmal’s Arabic banner controversy in Goalpara on last Wednesday, the AIUDF supremo on Friday stated that there are lakhs and lakhs of words in the Assamese language which has come from the Arabic language.

“In fact, I have also told that NGO to put off the Arabic banner and asked them to put an Assamese banner in its place,” said Ajmal.

He also mentioned that an NGO has donated that banner in the meeting on a good note. Moreover, he claimed that he didn’t even notice that banner on the day of the programme.

“As many sections of people have got offended with this, I told my people to put it off immediately,” added Badruddin Ajmal before the media.

Meanwhile, State Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma while addressing a programme at Srimanta Shankardev Kalashetra in Guwahati on Friday had expressed his deepest annoyance over AIUDF supremo Maulana Badruddin Ajmal for using an ‘Arabic Banner’ in place of the Assamese in a programme in Goalpara.

Lashing out at the intellectuals for remaining silent on the issue, he said they have surrendered before the Arabic language. “Why none of the state intellectuals came out to protest on the matter?” Himanta questioned.

“There is a political conspiracy going on to create a dispute among our own people of the state, thus, these people have been abruptly taking away our political rights from our own hands,” added Himanta.

Also Read: Himanta questions intellectuals’ silence over Ajmal’s use of ‘Arabic Banner’

Muslim students' body irked at 'Arabic banner' use at Ajmal's meet

Guwahati: Muslim Students' Union expressed their deepest annoyance over AIUDF supremo Maulana Badruddin Ajmal for using an Arabic banner in place of the Assamese in a programme at Goalpara on Wednesday.

General Secretary for Muslim Students' Union, Ashiq Rabani claimed it to be an insult to the martyrs of the Assamese language movement.

He also alleged that AIUDF Chief and Dhubri MP Maulana Badruddin Ajmal has been trying to spread communal violence in the land of Shankar-Ajan Fakir through his secret understandings with RSS and BJP.

The Muslim Students' Union of Assam has also demanded AIUDF chief Badruddin Ajmal to clarify his position in the matter.

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AIUDF Supremo Badruddin Ajmal tests COVID-19 negative, Discharged

Guwahati: AIUDF Supremo and Dhubri MP Badruddin Ajmal was discharged from the hospital this evening after being tested as COVID-19 negative.

Ajmal is a diabetic patient and his blood sugar level was low when admitted to a private hospital in Mumbai on July 11, 2020.

Informing about his present condition, Ajmal took to twitter saying, “By the grace of almighty and the care of doctors and nurses, I have been discharged from Hospital today. I am doing absolutely fine now. Gratitude and thanks to the Hospital staff as well as those who prayed for me during this time.”

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Massive Crowd Flout Social Distancing Norms To Witness Mufti's Funeral At Nagaon

 

Guwahati: Amidst the pandemic situation in the state, a massive crowd was witnessed at the funeral ceremony of Mufti Khairul Islam, a veteran Islamic religious leader and father of Aminul Islam, seating MLA of Dhing constituency.

Mufti, who was suffering from kidney and heart ailments, breathed his last on Wednesday.

Besides being the vice president of the All India Jamiat Ulema, Mufti was also the Aamir-e-Shariat of Northeast India.

This incident of utter irresponsibility amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has drawn huge flak by various groups.

It may be mentioned that due to the rise in COVID-19 cases in the region the Government of Assam has already declared Lockdown in various parts of the region to check the spread of COVID cases.

Meanwhile, MP from Nagaon Pradyut Bordoloi also attended the funeral ceremony.

Speaking to media, the Nagaon MP said, “Mufti Khairul Islam was a celebrated religious leader. Hence, people from all walks of life came to attend his funeral ceremony. Everybody present in the funeral was wearing face masks. People have sentiments attached to him and I am one of them too."

Ghalib Harun, an Assistant Professor from Nagaon told Midage Media, "The crowd was of multiple thousands. Such irresponsible and unscientific behaviour during this pandemic is highly condemnable."

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