Assam: Speaker warns of 'bad days' if ration for tea gardens stopped

Assam Assembly Speaker Pranab Kumar Gogoi on Thursday warned if subsidised foodgrains to tea garden workers are stopped, then "bad days" will come for the state with likely deterioration in law and order situation and urged BJP MLAs to raise the issue with the Central government.

Guwahati: Assam Assembly Speaker Pranab Kumar Gogoi on Thursday warned if subsidised foodgrains to tea garden workers are stopped, then "bad days" will come for the state with likely deterioration in law and order situation and urged BJP MLAs to raise the issue with the Central government.

"If distribution of subsidised rice is stopped and a law and order situation arises, who will be responsible? So instead of shouting here, please convey to your leadership in Delhi that if it is not resolved, bad days are coming," Gogoi said to the BJP MLAs during the Question Hour in the House.

The opposition BJP rose to their feet and shouted against Food and Civil Supplies Minister Nazrul Islam's comment that the NDA government is creating troubles for Assam government by stopping benefits of tea garden workers and also by not allowing to launch the National Food Security Act (NFSA).

"It is the apprehension of the Minister and also the public. So there is no point shouting here...Do not forget the good response you (BJP) had received from tea gardens before the (Lok Sabha) elections," the Speaker said.

Gogoi also echoed Islam's sentiment that if other states have been allowed to launch the NFSA, then why not Assam.

"The Centre has stopped us to roll out the NFSA under pretext of complete digitisation. At first, they said all data should be digitised before the launch. Then in a Secretary-level meeting, they said end-to-end computerisation is compulsory before the launch," Islam said.

He informed the House that five Congress-ruled states had rolled out the NFSA before the Lok Sabha polls without digitisation as it is not a mandatory clause under the Act and they are still continuing.

"Now, the Centre has decided to stop the subsidised rice and atta for the tea gardens. It will create immense difficulties for the workers," the Minister said.

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