Asom Gana Parishad MPs protest outside Parliament over Assam violence

Last Updated: Wed, Aug 08, 2012 14:00 hrs

Asom Gana Parishad (AGP) lawmakers staged a protest outside the Parliament here on Wednesday in order to vent their ire against the government's failure to curb the ethnic clashes in Assam.

AGP lawmaker Birendra Prasad Baishya said both the Assam Government and the Centre have failed to take any firm step to stop the violence.

"The Congress-ruled state government and central government have totally failed to protect the lives and property of indigenous people of the country. To show our demand to save Assam today, to save India tomorrow. So, we condemn central government and state government for their failure," he said.

Baishya further demanded the Central Government to take immediate steps to stop the violence in Assam.

"We ask central government to take immediate steps to stop violence in Assam. So this is the demand of us. The members of the parliament from the Asom Gana Parishad, have given this demonstration in front of parliament today, to condemn the functioning of the state government and the central government," he added.

Earlier in the day, BJP veteran Lak Krishna Advani created a storm in the Lok Sabha by dubbing UPA-II as 'illegitimate', but withdrew it after strong protests from the ruling Congress Party.

Debating on the ethnic violence in Assam on the first day of the Monsoon Session of Parliament, Advani described the riots in an around Kokrajhar as the biggest failure of the Central Government.

"Of the state's three-crore population, up to 400,000 are homeless... this is an unprecedented crisis," he said.

Advani said he was pleased to note that the Prime Minister, who represents Assam in the Rajya Sabha, was present for the debate.

"Let not anyone regard it as a Hindu versus Muslim issue, or a tribal versus non-tribal issue. It is a matter of who are Indians and who are foreigners," said Advani.

"The Assamese people are now refugees in their own state. Infiltration from Bangladesh is affecting the security of the whole country," he added.

UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi later objected to Advani's remark that the UPA II government is 'illegitimate' and asked him to withdraw it.

Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde also objected to Advani's remarks, saying that it was 'an insult to Parliament'.

The BJP veteran, however, later said that he was referring to the 2008 confidence vote for which "crores of rupees were spent" to save the government.

The debate on Assam, which has seen its worst violence in more than a decade with 70 people killed, began after Advani moved an adjournment motion on Assam.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, who heads the Congress Government in Assam, said yesterday that the state is 'sitting on a volcano'.

He has been criticized for ignoring early warning signs of tension between the Bodo tribals and Bengali-speaking Muslims.

More than 70 people have died in the last month. 400,000 people are displaced and living in 200 relief camps in lower Assam.

Medicines and other supplies are running short. There are just 117 doctors moving from one camp to another as diseases like malaria spread.

The issue of Assam violence created turmoil in the Lok Sabha on the first day of the Monsoon Session today with several opposition members storming the Well of the House.

Despite Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar admitting an adjournment motion by BJP on the issue, members including those of BJP, Shiv Sena, Bodoland People's Front (BPF) and All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) trooped into the Well condemning the violence. (ANI)

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