Assam govt to bring law against bandhs: Himanta

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Nov 4: Assam finance minister and senior BJP leader Himanta Biswa Sarma on Sunday said that Assam government will explore the possibilities of bringing a legislation against bandh culture in the state.

“The Assam government should enact a law against bandhs. The High Court had given a direction in this regard. I will raise the issue in the next Cabinet meeting. In general, we should oppose the bandh culture, whosoever has called for it,” he said.

“I am saying that as long as the bandh culture is declared illegal by the Gauhati High Court, it should not happen within the state of Assam. I feel we should not contempt the High Court,” he said.

“If the BJP had called for a bandh yesterday, my answer would have been the same that it should not have been called as it would be a contempt of the court. But I cannot decide whether they (BJP) will call for it or not,” the minister said.

When asked if he would oppose calling a bandh by BJP, the minister said, “I cannot speak for the party… I don’t have the courage to oppose it. How can one person oppose it? But I will make my comment that it will be a contempt of court.”

He also advocated action against bandh sponsors if there is any destruction of properties.  “I will not go in to the merit of a bandh. But as the High Court has declared bandhs illegal, we should oppose it.  The government’s stand is that every bandh, whether it is called by AGP, BJP, AIUDF, AASU or any other organisation, has been declared illegal by the High Court,” Sarma said.

The minister also appealed to the media to refrain from carrying news of bandhs and stop giving it publicity. “The Gauhati High Court has declared it illegal within the state of Assam and nobody should encourage it. We should not look at who has called bandhs. We should condemn the act of bandh. And if that happens, Assam will be better,” he added. (With PTI input)

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