Assam Legislative Assembly Speaker to Call all-party meet
Assam Legislative Assembly Speaker, Hitendra Nath Goswami has told the members of the Legislative Assembly that they are ready to go for an extra mile in the form of an all-party meeting to resolve the 'D' voter problem.
The members of the ruling coalition and the Opposition parties were blaming each other on the issue of D voters when Congress MLA Sherman Ali raised the issue during the Question Hour on Monday. Delving deep into the problem of D voters, the Opposition members pinpointed their all-out attack against the ruling coalition on two major points – border police issuing notices to people without proper verification and the tag ‘D’ sticking to the names of many people who have been declared Indians by courts. Ali has said that even after the courts declaring doubtful voters as Indians the tag ‘D’ continues to stick to their names. Citing reports from election officers (EOs), Ali said that the EOs cannot bring any changes in the electoral roll without any directive from the Election Commission of India (ECI).
The leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia said: “D voter is a unique concept in Assam. In sync with this concept, the software of the ECI has a different setting for Assam. Unless the ECI changes the setting in its software meant for Assam, this problem will continue to be here to stay.”
In his reply, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patovary said: “We’ve instructed all election officers to delete the tag ‘D’ from ‘doubtful voters’ who’ve been declared Indians by foreigners tribunals (FTs). We’ve also requested to the Government of India to bring similar changes in the Election Commission of India’s portal.”
The statement from Patowary could not make the Opposition members hold their peace. Questioning the role of Border Police, he started shouting in the House. They alleged that the border policemen are issuing the notice in tight security in their offices without initial scrutiny.
To this, the Speaker intervened and said: “Passing the buck on each other is not going to solve the problem. This is a humanitarian problem, and we need to solve it with a humane approach. We need to feel the trauma such victim families have been under. I’m ready to call an all-party meeting outside the Assembly so that we can reach a solution to the vexed problem.”