Assam: PJACBM leader Garjan Mushahary, 17 other members join Congress

Joining of PJACBM members will bring new light on the horizon of Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR), said Assam Congress president Bhupen Borah

Guwahati: Chief convenor of the People’s Joint Action Committee for Bodoland Movement (PJACBM) Garjan Mushahary and 17 members of the party joined the Assam Congress here on Thursday.

Welcoming the new members into the party, Assam Pradesh Congress president Bhupen Borah, said that the people of the state are disillusioned with the present BJP government, and the joining of the PJACBM members will bring a new light on the horizon of the Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR).

“The BJP has been using different tactics to check the forward movement of the Congress but their tactics will not yield results and we will move forward with greater momentum”, he said.

Mushahary said that the PJACBM has been conducting a long-lasting movement for peace among the people in Bodoland but “peace and harmony have been greatly affected during the communal rule of the present BJP government”.

The Congress has to return to power if an atmosphere of peace is to be re-established among the people of the state, he said.

Problems like unemployment have greatly distressed the youth and their future is also at stake and so attracted by its policies and ideals, we decided to join the Congress , Mushahary said.

Also read | Assam Assembly passes cattle bill as Opposition stages walkout

Besides Mushahary, the other PJACBM members who joined the Congress are Majumdar Brahma, Bireswar Basumatary, Joseph Basumatary, Manmohan Brahma, Piyush Narzary, Prince Wary, Noresh Basumatary, Hiranya Brahma, Amit Basumatary, Linus Narzary, Raju Brahma, Michael Tudu, Furmailang Brahma, Sora Sangma,Habil Ali Sheikh, Manomohan Brahma and Palindra Brahma.

Congress Legislature party leader Debabrata Saikia, party working presidents, and MLAs Kamalakshya Dey Purkayastha and Zakir Hussain Sikdar along with other senior leaders were present on the occasion.

Congress to Assam CM: Why silent on cow smuggling, drug menace in last 5 yrs

Since May 10, the police have arrested more than 1,250 people for their alleged involvement in the drugs trade and seized goods worth nearly Rs 132 crore in Assam

Guwahati: The opposition Congress on Monday criticised chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma over narcotic drugs trade and cattle smuggling in Assam, and asked why he was silent for the last five years on these issues despite being a prominent minister in the BJP-led government of the state.

Addressing a press conference here, Assam Congress president Ripun Bora said the recent crackdown on cow smuggling to neighbouring Bangladesh and police raids on drug peddlers all over the state have brought to light many facts.

“As stated by the CM Himanta Biswa Sarma himself, it (the two illegal trades) had generated Rs 1,000 crore business every day. Surely the illegal businesses of cow trade and drugs did not start just two months ago, that is from May 2, 2021,” the Assam Congress president said.

The results of the state assembly elections were announced on May 2.

It is obvious that such illegal activities were going on during the previous BJP government headed by former chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Bora said.

“So what stopped the present CM from acting then? Wasn’t he a prominent minister of the same government? Wasn’t he part and parcel of the same government? The fact that the Congress party was raising the issue of illegal cow smuggling for a long time has been vindicated,” the Assam Congress president added.

Sarma had held various portfolios such as finance, health and education in the Sonowal government.

Since May 10, the police have arrested more than 1,250 people for their alleged involvement in the drugs trade and seized goods worth nearly Rs 132 crore.

A large number of people have also been arrested for cow smuggling into Bangladesh and dozens of cattle have been rescued from their clutches.

Priyanka attacks Modi on lack of empathy for Assam

Jorhat (Assam), Mar 21: Launching a frontal attack on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Sunday alleged he is sad about a tweet by a 22-year-old woman but not for the flood-ravaged people of Assam.

A day after Modi raised the toolkit issue and alleged Congress conspiracy in it at a poll rally in Chabua in Assam, the daughter of late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, lamented that Modi was silent on peoples'' suffering during perennial floods. Last year''s flooding of the Brahmaputra during the pandemic affected some 2.8 million people.

"I was listening to the Prime Minister''s speech yesterday. He very seriously said that he was very sad about a development. I thought he would speak about Assam''s development or how BJP worked in Assam.

"But I was shocked to hear that the PM was talking about a tweet by a 22-year-old woman (Disha Ravi). He said Congress conspired to finish the tea industry of Assam. He was also sad about Congress mistakenly putting two wrong pictures on social media," Vadra said.

She questioned Modi why he was not sad for the people affected by the flood and the anti-CAA movement, in which five youths were killed.

"Why didn''t you come to Assam when people were drowning? Why were you not sad when all the big promises by BJP were not fulfilled? Did you go to tea gardens and talk to workers about their problems?" the Congress leader asked of Modi.

Talking about the Prime Minister''s famous statement of "double-engined" government in Assam, Vadra made fun of it saying the state currently has "two chief ministers", in an apparent reference to rumours of powerful minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal acting as rival power centers.

 

The Assam government is not run in Assam... God save you!" she added. The Congress leader also alleged that all segments of the society, including Youths, farmers and tea garden workers, have been cheated by the BJP government as it did not fulfill any of its promises made five years ago.

Also Read: Modi attacks Congress at Assam poll rally, says NDA ensured peace and development

Assam polls: Sushmita Dev supposedly to resign from Congress over seat sharing deals with AIUDF

Former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is also in talks with senior Congress leaders: Ripun Bora

Assam polls: Sushmita Dev to quit Congress? Rift in Congress over seat-sharing with AIUDF

Guwahati: Even before Congress released its first candidate’s list for the Assembly elections, there has been internal strife among the party leaders and workers.

Amid the high political drama in poll-bound Assam, Congress leader Sushmita Dev has reportedly tendered her resignation to Congress chairperson Sonia Gandhi over seat-sharing deals with AIUDF.

Dev walked out from the Congress meeting at Hotel Taj Vivanta in Guwahati, informed party sources.

Sushmita Dev is reportedly going to meet Sonia Gandhi on Saturday to discuss the matter. Sources in the party said that she might tender her resignation if the talks don’t yield any positive result.

On the other hand, some of the top political leaders have left the BJP and joined the Congress, expressing their displeasure at not getting tickets from the BJP.

Former Assam Chief Minister Prafulla Kumar Mahanta is also in talks with senior Congress leaders, informed Ripun Bora, Assam Pradesh Congress president.

“Prafulla Kumar Mahanta has contacted us, however, we won’t make any comments as of now,” said Ripun Bora.

Meanwhile, party insiders from Congress informed, South Karimganj MLA Siddique Ahmed is likely to tender resignation from his constituency.

This is a developing story.

Also Read: AIUDF TO CONTEST 24 SEATS IN ASSAM ASSEMBLY ELECTIONS

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra launches 5 Guarantee campaign for Congress

Congress assures to nullify CAA if voted back to power: Priyanka Gandhi Vadra

Guwahati: At a mega rally of the Congress party here on Tuesday, party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra launched the ‘5 Guarantee’ campaign for the 2021 Assam assembly elections.

The party is undertaking five “Guarantees” for the election. These are: (1) a law that nullifies the CAA; (2) 5 lakh government jobs; (3) raising tea workers’ wages to ₹ 365; (4) free electricity up to 200 units per household; and (5) ₹ 2,000 monthly income support to all housewives.

“This election is an election of trust. The people of Assam were cheated by a party five years ago that promised them 25 lakh jobs but gave them CAA instead. The Congress party is not making empty promises but undertaking 5 guarantees,” Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said.

Explaining the rationale of the 5 guarantees, APCC Chief, Ripun Bora said the party had identified the top issues facing the people through the ‘AsomBasaonAhok’ Yatra and was now presenting its solutions to the public.

Pradyut Bordoloi, the party’s Campaign Committee Chief, explained the first guarantee, a law in the Assam assembly that would nullify CAA. “After the Congress wins the election on 2 May, we will pass a law in the Assam assembly that won’t allow the CAA to be implemented in Assam. We have already asked lawyers to start drafting such a law,” he said.

Explaining the promise of 5 lakh government jobs, MP (LS) and Manifesto Committee Chairperson Gaurav Gogoi said the party was promising only 5 lakh government jobs as opposed to the BJP’s unkept promise of 25 lakh government jobs. “We have studied the state budget and consulted economists and have come to the conclusion that the best possible is 5 lakh jobs in 5 years. Since this is a guarantee and not an empty election promise, we wanted to be honest and come up with a figure that is actually possible,” he said. He further said the incoming Congress government would also create 25 lakh private sector jobs by introducing reservations for Assamese people in private sector jobs created in Assam as well as in contracts given to private companies by the Assam government.

Debabrata Saikia, Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, affirmed that the tea workers’ wages shall be increased to ₹ 365 per day within 30 days of the Congress coming to power. He said this was a guarantee already undertaken by Rahul Gandhi. “We have studied the state of the tea business and we think that if tea workers in Kerala can get ₹ 380 a day, then hard working tea workers of Assam can also get at least ₹ 365. The tea planters can easily manage this and we will make it happen within 30 days,” he said.

Publicity Committee Chairman, Rakibul Hussain stated, that the Congress is undertaking a guarantee of making electricity upto 200, units free for households as a measure of cushioning Assam’s people against price rise. “200 units free electricity would mean a discount of around ₹ 1,400 on your electricity bill. For most people in Assam this would make their electricity bill zero. We think such support is important because price of everything is going up, from vegetables to diesel,” he said.

Sushmita Dev, the party leader from the Barak Valley, undertook the fifth guarantee of ₹ 2,000 to housewives. “Society doesn’t recognise the work women do as ‘work’. Women toil all day in the kitchen, keeping the house clean, raising children. We hope the monthly support of ₹ 2,000 will help them manage the house better and also spend on themselves at a time of high inflation,” she explained.

Congress General Secretary in-charge of Assam, Jitendra Singh said, that the Congress hand has 5 fingers and each one stood for a guarantee. “There is a rising Congress wave in this election. That is why so many parties have joined the Congress-led Mahajot. The Bodoland People’s Front, known as the kingmakers of Assam politics, have also joined us because they can see who’s winning,” Jitendra Singh said.

The party’s campaign over the next one month shall focus on making every voter aware of the 5 Guarantees and explaining the feasibility of the same.

Also Read: PM Modi to address 20 rallies in poll-bound West Bengal and six rallies in Assam

APCC alleged CM Sonowal over occupying state guest house amid imposition of Model Code of Conduct in poll-bound Assam

Guwahati: The legal department of Assam Pradesh Congress Committee submits a memorandum to the Chief Electoral Officer, Assam against Chief Minister of Assam Sarbananda Sonowal for allegedly occupying the state guest house amid the imposition of the Model Code of Conduct by the Election Commission of India in poll-bound Assam.

 Congress in its memorandum under signed by chairman, legal department APCC, Niran Borah stated that the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has violated the provisions of the Model Code of Conduct by using the state guest house as his residence even after the announcement of the dates of Assembly election in the state of Assam by Election Commission of India.

Notably, the dates of Assembly election in the state of Assam by Election Commission of India were announced on February 27, 2021.

“The state guest house situated near the Raj Bhawan, Uzanbazar has not been officially declared as his residence prior to coming into force of the Model Code of Conduct issued by the Election Commission of India, the same cannot be used by him as his residence at this juncture as the Model Code of Conduct has come into force. Moreover, since the said guest house is considered to be a Public Guest House, as such, the same cannot be used by the Chief Minister of Assam as his residence thereby monopolizing the same as it is a clear violation of the provisions of Model Code of Conduct issued by Election Commission of India,” the memorandum reads.

The legal department further urged the Chief Electoral Officer to immediately intervene into the matter by issuing notice to CM Sonowal for vacating the state guest house at the earliest.

Also Read: Assam Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma Gets Covid Vaccine

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra interacts with tea garden workers with a cup of tea

Guwahati: Congress Party General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on the second day of her Assam visit interacted with tea garden workers here in Biswanath.

She was spotted sharing the moment alongside tea garden workers with a cup of traditional Assamese tea.

Sharing their grievances, the tea garden workers sought her support and appealed to protect the tea tribes’ community and their land.

While interacting with the tea tribes community, Vadra raises serious concerns over their daily wage earnings, living standards, health facilities, education etc.

During her interaction, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “BJP government has been involved in making fake promises to the people of India. It has been five years now, but, did the BJP led-government kept their promises, or did they provided you the basic amenities after they came to power in Assam? It’s the duty for every single party to fulfill the promises they make during election campaigns and the same goes with the Congress party. The irony is that the ruling government is running only for few selected multinational enterprises, but there has been no development for the common people of the nation during any natural calamities or in the midst of lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

She urged the tea tribes community to vote for the right people in the upcoming assembly polls in Assam.

Earlier on Monday, Assam Congress in a press statement stated that on the second day of her Assam visit Priyanka Gandhi Vadra will be announcing 5 guarantees from the Party, which will occur as assured fulfillments once it comes to Power. The announcement will be based on the issues that came to light and were raised during the “Axom Basaon Ahok  Yatra” and through, the “Axom Basaon Ahok” video contest.

 

Also Read: Congress deadlock to continue: G-23 planning event in Haryana now

Speaker of Assam Legislative Assembly acting as a BJP Agent: Congress

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.

Also Read: Gauhati High Court rejects Akhil Gogoi’s bail plea

Assam Congress condemns Govt's crackdown on protesters

Guwahati: Assam Pradesh Congress Committee vehemently condemned CM Sonowal-led BJP Government and Assam Police for allegedly injuring their leaders and arresting them while they were staging a democratic protest at the Congress office in Dispur this morning.

The Congress leaders under the aegis of APCC president Ripun Bora staged a massive protest in connection to question paper leak of SI (UB) Recruitment Exam.

The three injured Congress spokespersons were identified as Prafulla Kumar Das, Imdad Hussain and Sonju Baruah.

Later, they were shifted to Hayat Hospital for better treatment.

Notably, around 400 Congress workers along with APCC president Ripun Bora were arrested today. They were then shifted to 10th Assam Police Battalion Camp.

Also Read: Hathras rape case: UP police allegedly cremated victim’s body without family members’ consent