Guwahati, Nov 28 (PTI) The winter session of the Assam Assembly began on a stormy note on Thursday with the opposition Congress and AIUDF protesting against the Citizens (Amendment) Bill and the state government's move to cancel the NRC, lying down outside the House after being prevented from pressing for acceptance of their adjournment motion.
As soon as the house assembled for the day, opposition Congress and AIUDF tried to raise the two contentious issues through an adjournment motion after oaths were administered to the four newly elected MLAs.
'Speaker Sir, we gave you an adjournment motion to discuss two very crucial issues of NRC and Citizenship (Amendment) Bill. Please allow us to raise these,' Congress MLA and former minister Ajanta Neog said.
When the speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami did not give permission and directed to raise the matter after the Question Hour, members of the two parties rushed to the well of the house, shouting slogans and displaying placards.
'We will not allow to cancel the NRC', 'Cancel the anti- Assam CAB', 'Implement every clause of the Assam Accord', 'Inquilab Zindabad' and 'Jai Aai Asom' were some of the slogans raised inside the house.
Their slogans were countered by 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' by the ruling BJP MLAs in the treasury bench.
The placards by the proteting members of the two parties too mentioned similar slogans.
After some time, the Congress and AIUDF legislators staged a walkout from the house.
The Congress MLAs, including former chief minister Tarun Gogoi, then assembled at the entrance of the house and lay down on the verandah almost blocking the passage to go inside.
They shouted slogans against the BJP-led government and displayed the placards.
After end of the Question Hour, the speaker said in the house: 'adjournment motion always comes after the Question Hour. We have to follow the rules. The opposition was playing to the gallery and it is not good.
'They violated rules and procedures of the house and I am hurt about that. This is unfortunate.' With the house continuing with its normal functioning thereafter without presence of the opposition MLAs, Parliamentary Affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said: 'The Congress destroyed Assam and they do not have the right to say 'Jai Aai Asom' (Assam Mata ki Jai). During Congress rule, 855 youths were martyred.' Taunting at the nature of protest outside the house, the minister suggested them to go home and sleep if they are feeling sleepy in the assembly.
In the 126-member Assam assembly, Congress has 24 MLAs while number of AIUDF legislators stands at 14. BJP has 61 MLAs while its ruling partners AGP and Bodoland People's Front (BPF) have 14 and 12 members respectively.
The winter session of the state assembly that started on Thursday will end on December 6.
On November 20, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that the state government had requested the centre to reject the recently updated National Register of Citizens (NRC), while on the same day Union Home Minister Amit Shah had announced to have a country-wide NRC that would include Assam again.
This comes when the centre is likely to introduce the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in coming days during the ongoing winter session of Parliament.
The bill was passed by the Lok Sabha on January 8 this year but was not tabled in the Rajya Sabha as the term of the Lower House ended.
The bill seeks to provide Indian citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Parsis from Bangladesh, Pakistan and Afghanistan after six years of residence in India even if they do not possess any document.
The final NRC was published on August 31 this year by excluding 19,06,657 persons. A total of 3,11,21,004 names were included out of 3,30,27,661 applicants. PTI TR SNS SNS