The Assam Assembly has passed the State Official Language Amendment Bill on Wednesday declaring Bodo as an associate official language of the state.
The bill was introduced on the floor of the Assembly by Assam Parliamentary Affairs minister Chandra Mohan Patowary on behalf of chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal.
The Assam Cabinet chaired by Chief Minister Sonowal approved the Assam Official Language Amendment Bill on December 22 for granting Bodo as an associate official language.
Congress MLA from North Karimganj constituency, Kamalakhya Dey, moved a proposal seeking an amendment to the bill.
Dey demanded that the bill be amended and besides Bodo, the Bengali language should also be declared as an associate official language across Assam.
He said while the Bodo language is spoken by only 14 lakh people while the Bengali language is spoken by 90 lakh people across Assam.
So, the Bengali language should be declared as an associate official language of Assam, Dey said.
Contradicting the debate over the demand of Dey, Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said that Bengali is an established and well-recognized Indian language, spoken by a large number of people in the country adding that there is no need to recognize Bengali as an official language in the state as it is already an official language in the Barak Valley.