Cong Demands Clarification From Assam on Special Category Status

Cong Demands Clarification From Assam on Special Category Status

Opposition Congress today demanded a clarification from Assam government over continuation of Special Category Status to the state following reports of Centre withdrawing the benefit.

Congress MLA Rakibul Hussain raised the issue as Point of Order after the Question Hour in the Assembly by showing a local newspaper report quoting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley that Centre has withdrawn the facility from Assam and North East as a whole.

"Yesterday the Finance Minister said in this House that Assam is still getting the benefit after 2014. But here Arun Jaitley says it is withdrawn from Assam. Which one is correct? We need clarification," Hussain said showing the paper.

Yesterday in reply to a query from Congress MLA Ajanta Neog, Assam Finance Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma had said the state continued to enjoy the Special Category Status tag even after the NDA government came to power at the Centre in 2014.

During the last two years, the Centre released Rs 58,016.42 crore to the state since 2014-15 financial year, he had informed the House.

Neog, however, said, "I asked this question yesterday, but did not get a satisfactory answer. So I demand the state government to come out with a White Paper on this issue and clarify the matter.

On behalf of Sarma, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary said financial questions cannot be answered instantly as these need detailed discussions.

"I request the Opposition members to bring the matter through a proper device. We will answer it in detail," he added.

On this, Congress MLA Sherman Ali Ahmed alleged that "it is a matter of privilege because the House was misled by the Finance Minister and so it should be discussed".

This led the ruling party MLAs shouting against the Opposition members and a noisy scene prevailed for a brief period of time.

Patowary, however, said privilege motion cannot be moved on the basis of newspaper reports.

Speaker Ranjeet Kumar Dass said, "You (Ahmed) know there are so many ways to raise a topic in the House. Why did you bring it here as a Point of Order? Is it possible to discuss such a detailed topic in this device?"

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