Chaos broke out in the Assam Assembly for the second consecutive day on Friday as Opposition members continued to demand a discussion on allegations against Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma’s wife.
The House was adjourned at least thrice during the day, reported PTI.
On Wednesday, the Congress had alleged that Sarma used his influence to get a subsidy of Rs 10 crore under the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Sampad Yojanas agro-processing clusters programme for his wife Riniki Bhuyan Sharma’s company.
Congress MP Gaurav Gogoi had said that the subsidy was granted to Pride East Entertainment Private Limited on November 10 for a project valued at Rs 25.88 crore.
According to the details of the project under the scheme, the company is owned by Sarma’s wife. The company owns two news channels, one newspaper, a digital portal and at least three entertainment channels, reported Newslaundry. It has been expanding its operation to silk production and food processing.
During the question hour on Friday, Congress MLA Kamalakhya Dey Purkayastha asked state Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Jogen Mohan if the land acquired by Pride East Entertainment Private Limited for the proposed food processing plant was allotted under the state’s Basundhara scheme. He also asked what documents were submitted to seek the allotment of the land.
Speaker Biswajit Daimary said that the matter was not related to the original question. However, Purkayastha persisted. The exchange was followed by several ministers engaging in a war of words with the Opposition members, leading to the adjournment of the House for 30 minutes.
Upon reconvening, Leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia drew the attention of Deputy Speaker Numal Momin, who was in the chair, to the notice he gave for the discussion of the matter during Zero Hour.
When Momin did not allow an immediate discussion, Congress MLAs along with the lone Communist Party of India (Marxist) legislator and an Independent MLA reached the Well of the House in protest. Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party followed them, leading to a second adjournment for 15 minutes.
Opposition leaders continued to shout slogans when the House reconvened. BJP MLAs were also in the Well at the time. This led the Deputy Speaker to adjourn the House for 15 minutes again.
On Thursday, the Opposition MLAs had walked out of the Assembly after the Speaker denied their demand to discuss the issue.
Meanwhile, Gogoi said that Sarma should resign from his post over the allegations. “A chief minister should offer to resign irrespective of if and when the money was transferred,” he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.