Tinsukia: Mocking Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal’s recent claim that he doesn’t know acting, All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) general secretary Lurinjyoti Gogoi said that he actually deserves an Oscar in acting.
Referring to Sonowal’s political career, Gogoii said that on numerous occasions, Sonowal has changed his camps — right from AASU to AGP to BJP.
“As a president of AASU, he acted in a certain way. As AGP leader, his acting changed. During Illegal Migrants (Determination by Tribunal ) (IMDT) time, his acting was different and today… He deserves to receive an Oscar in acting.”
Bracing the chill and mild rainfall, thousands of anti-Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) protesters, mostly women, came out to listen to Gogoi during a meeting organised at ITI field in Tinsukia on Friday.
Launching a scathing attack on Sonowal, Gogoi said that the chief minister is a heartless person. “Five youths have been murdered and not a single word was uttered by Sonowal in seven days,” he said, adding, “The BJP ministers did not have the courage to come out for 10 days. When they came out for support and peace rally — it was under the cover of police, CRPF, rapid action force and military.”
Referring to a statement made by the BJP government during the tabling of Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAB) during the winter session of Parliament, Gogoi lashed out saying, “What kind of ‘aandolan‘ do they want to see? In so many states, things have been set on fire, protesters have been gunned down. Is this aandolan for them?”
Vehemently opposing CAA, the AASU leader said that Assam is not a dustbin, nor a dharamsala. “They will change the cut-off year to 2014, 2019, may be 2050 depending on their wish. Do they think Assamese people are illiterate? The people of Assam will not allow this to happen. CAA aami naamanu (We will not accept CAA),” added Gogoi.
Raising the issue of abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir, Gogoi voiced that the BJP government thought they will force CAA on Assamese people and they will accept it.
“It was their myth. No amount of suppressing, force or threat by the government can stop this ‘aandolan‘ because this is people’s movement and to save the existence of Assamese people — their identity, language and culture,” said Gogoi.
Referring to the Assam government’s announcement to give financial grants to artists and various other scheme that was passed in the Assam Legislative Assembly, Gogoi said that they have stooped so low by bribing the people, after force and threat did not work. Gogoi also issued a warning from Tinsukia, “I warn the Sonowal government, that under the blanket of temptations thrown at protestors, they won’t be allowed to enact CAA in Assam nor settle a single illegal immigrant who have entered Assam after 25th March 1971.”
“The people of Assam have sent Sarbananda Sonowal to Dispur to serve the people and do their work. In democracy, people are above those in power, and if they have failed in repairing national highways in three and half years, they have failed us and don’t deserve to be in the seat anymore,” Gogoi said, adding: “We will dethrone Sonowal and Himanta.”
When questioned, Lila Phukan, an octogenarian woman sitting on the ground in the first row with a piece of paper which read “Bangladesh sympathiser hosiyaar“, she said, “I have come here to register my protest against CAA. We all did come out of our homes and send Sonowal to Dispur as he promised he will secure Assamese identity, language and culture. Who knew he will do this to us.”
Popular singer Manas Robin was also seen striking a chord with the protesters who moved their bodies to his tunes and songs of protest.
Robin said, “These days I am not able to watch television as I am moving here and there for protests. But, on January 1, I saw CM Sonowal on TV briefing media only to find that there are patches of dark circle under his eye. Earlier it used to be charming and we use to feel a bit jealous. I kept thinking was it because of the pain of his people of Assam, who have come out on streets, or the panic to lose his seat.”
Taking a dig at CM Sonowal, Asom Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad (AJYCP) state president Rana Pratap Baruah said in his address to the gathering that, Sonowal questioned what mistake he committed?
“From this field in Tinsukia, we want to say that we committed a big mistake by electing you as chief minister,” Baruah answered.
“You shoot us, but the people of Assam won’t accept CAA”, Baurah said, adding: “You put our boys into jail who show you black flags, your police resort to lathicharge on our peaceful protesters and you say that you support democratic protests.”
“Do not compel us to make our protest undemocratic,” he warned Sonowal.
On Sonowal government announcing slew of cabinet decision to benefit local people, Baruah said, “This money is not Sonowal’s property but tax payers’ money. He hasn’t done anything great by giving people’s money back to people.”
He demanded that Assam assembly should pass a resolution not to accept CAA in the special session to be held in mid-January.