Assam Opposition attacks governor’s speech

Guwahati, Jan 6 : Of his 46-page address, Assam Governor Shiv Charan Mathur barely managed to read three paragraphs in the Assembly today after the Opposition found that the speech did not articulate the true picture of the state.
Mathur had reached only the second para when members of the Opposition began raising uncomfortable questions about the two serial blasts and the Udalguri riots.
Some of the AGP and BJP members also displayed placards seeking resignation of the government amid attempts by the governor to complete his speech.
With the Opposition in no mood to relent, Mathur read out the last para, which allows it to be deemed as read by the Assembly.
Chandra Mohan Patowary, leader of the Opposition, said the speech was not a true reflection of the ground reality and was, instead, trying to glorify a failed government.
The governor’s address, which started with the law and order situation, apparently conveyed anguish over the blasts and the riots and spoke about a multi-pronged strategy to deal with militant groups.
Sustained operations against the recalcitrant groups and peace overtures to those willing for a negotiated settlement formed the core of the strategy.
“The unilateral ceasefire by the A and C companies of Ulfa’s 28 battalion in June is significant and indicative of a desire for peaceful settlement on part of large sections of the militants,” the governor said.
He said the strategy would also include improving the functioning of the police, constitution of a specialised body on the lines of the National Security Guards, setting up of a research and analysis wing and installation of CCTVs in Guwahati and other major towns.
The Opposition found the arguments untrue.
“There is no semblance of law and order in the state. Tarun Gogoi should resign as the Centre has virtually taken over the law and order situation. Home minister P. Chidambaram himself has said that the chief minister should concentrate on development and that security forces should tackle law and order problems,” Patowary said.
The Gogoi government should now seek a fresh mandate, he said. The BJP said it would oppose the speech during the debate on the motion of thanks on the governor’s address.