Protests Held in Assam During PM’s Visit

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Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Wednesday had faced a series of protests from media, student unions and other political parties in Guwahati during his day-long visit to Assam to file his nomination papers for Rajya Sabha poll.

Media persons staged sit-in demonstration in front of Assam Legislative Assembly protest against the state government’s decision to exlude media persons to witness PM’s nomination filing for Rajya Sabha from the state.

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Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh welcomed by Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi at Borjhar airport in Guwahati on Wednesday (May 15, 2013) during his daylong visit to Assam for filing nomination paper of Rajya Sabha poll. Photo by Hemanta Kumar Nath

A top official of state government said the decision was made after instruction from Prime Minister’s Office.

“It is an attack to democracy,” Sushanta Talukdar, a senior journalist said.

After the incident, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, AICC general secretary Digvijoy Singh and other ministers of the state government came out from the assembly and made their apology to the media.

Prime Minister Dr Singh also came out from the assembly and addressed his speech to media at the demonstration site.

Apart from media, All Assam Students Union (AASU), BJP, CPI (ML) had showed black flag and sit-in demonstration protest against the PM’s visit to Assam.

“Dr Manmohan Singh have been representing Assam to Rajya Sabha in past 21 years, but failed to do anything for the development of the state. He makes an ‘step-motherly’ treatment to the state,” AASU advisor Dr Samujjal Kumar Bhattacharyee said.

Dr Singh submitted his nomination papers in the Assam Legislative Assembly on Wednesday for a fifth straight Rajya Sabha term from the state.

Dr Singh’s fourth term in Rajya Sabha will end June 14, who was representing to Assam in the upper house since 1991.

Ruling Congress and allies have occupied 94 seats in the 126 members of Assam legislative assembly.

Hemanta Kumar Nath is a correspondent in Assam, India, who reports on local news in Assam, the north east Indian state.