Assam Pradesh Congress Committee (APCC) on Thursday alleged that the current state government under the leadership of Himanta Biswa Sarma is strangulating the democratic practice of constructive criticism of the government by opposition parties by targeting opposition leaders and attempting to muzzle any voice against the government through administrative machinery under various pretext.
Owing to this, a delegation of the APCC led by the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Debabrata Saikia today met the Assam Governor Gulab Chand Kataria at Raj Bhawan in Guwahati and submitted a memorandum against the alleged political vendetta of Assam Government against Opposition leaders.
The Congress party in its memorandum stated that as harassment to opposition leaders in recent times transfer of relatives and well wishers without any reason or calling of relatives of various leaders by police are being noticed.
“The success of democracy depends to a great extent on the constructive role of the opposition parties. The opposition parties check the autocratic tendencies of the ruling party. It critically examines the rules and policies of the government and raises its voice on wrong policies. The main duty of the opposition party is to criticize the policies of the government. Therefore, in democracy, the opposition must be given space to make government responsible and accountable to the public,” it also said.
“Section 66-A of Information Technology has been used on several occasions to prosecute people for legitimately exercising their right to free speech online. The Supreme Court in a historic judgment ruled that Section 66-A of the IT act has unconstitutionally vague and overload, and arbitrary, exclusively and disproportionately invades the rights of the free speech,” it further said.
“We request your kind intervention to uphold democratic principles of the Constitution and provide an atmosphere to the opposition n parties to freely exercise their democratic responsibilities,” the memorandum also said.
“Further, opposition MLAs should be given equal opportunities to recommend schemes in their area of representation without any bias,” it added.
The delegation comprised of opposition leader Debabrata Saikia, MP Abdul Khaleque, MLA Wazed Ali Choudhury, MLA Nurul Huda, MLA Abdus Sobahan Ali Sarkar, MLA Nandita Das, MLA Asif Md Nazar, MLA Abdul Batin Khandkar and MLA Jakir Hussain Sikdar.