Guwahati: In an unprecedented development that took place at the Assam state secretariat complex in Dispur on Tuesday, Assam Congress MLA Rupjyoti Kurmi slit his left palm with a blade to write slogans in blood to register protest against the state government’s move to sell two paper mills, a fertilizer unit and its failure to revive two tea estates in the state.
Later, amid massive criticism from different political parties, including his own party, Kurmi reportedly extended a written apology over the incident to the Speaker of the House. Police Commissionerate Guwahati has also decided to take up the issue in proper consultation with the Speaker of Assam Assembly, Hitendra Nath Goswami, in the coming days.
The sitting MLA from Mariani constituency in Jorhat, who is known for his stiff opposition to various government policies, especially on industrial policies, Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB), etc, committed the act when the Winter Session of the Assembly was in progress. Kurmi used his blood to write slogans on a piece of paper which he had carried with him.
Senior Congress leader and leader of Opposition of state assembly Debabrata Sakia has reportedly not approved the way Kurmi staged protest on Monday.
“Any kind of democratic protest is always welcome. But we were not informed about such a kind of protest,” Saikia said, adding: “Kurmi has maligned the image of the Assam Assembly.”
The state unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has also termed it a drama and demanded for an inquiry against Kurmi for carrying a sharp weapon like blade inside a very sensitive security zone like the state assembly premises.
Senior AGP leader and MLA Satyabrata Kalita has also termed Kurmi’s act a move to malign the image of the House.
Meanwhile, doctors deputed on assembly duty attended the MLA and three to four stitches were applied on his injured palm.
Speaking with reporters, Kurmi told journalists that he was not happy as the government was planning to sell two public sector undertakings, Nagaon Paper Mill (NPM) and Cachar Paper Mill (CPM).
“The government spent crores of rupees in organizing Namami Brahmaputra and Pushkar Mela. It will spend a huge amount of money next year by organising the Filmfare Awards ceremony in Guwahati. The Ailabari and Hatikhira tea estates are not functional for the last several months. Some of the employees have committed suicide and some of them have died failing to get treatment. The government is also spending crores of rupees by erecting the statues of dead people. So, why can’t it revive just two paper mills?” Kurmi asked.