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Protests rocks Assam a day after cabinet expansion

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IANS Guwahati
A day after Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal expanded his cabinet, dissidence arose among the state BJP, with supporters of ignored party legislators on Friday calling for a shutdown or indulging in acts of vandalism.
While supporters of BJP legislator from Morigaon, Ramakanta Deuri called a 12-hour dawn to dusk Assam bandh, supporters of BJP legislators like Prashanta Phukan and Aminul Haque Laskar also staged protests at Dibrugarh and Silchar on Friday.
A group of agitated supporters of Deuri took to the streets in different parts of Morigaon in Central Assam protesting against his non-induction as minister and blocking the national highway as well as state highways affecting vehicular movement and causing immense woe to people.
The agitators also vandalized commercial establishments who refused to shut down and stoned vehicles that tried to ply. The shouted slogans against the BJP led government, Chief Minister and the Central BJP leadership holding them responsible for not inducting Deuri in the cabinet.
Similarly, supporters of Phukan, the legislator from Dibrugarh took out a silent procession in Dibrugarh town in Upper Assam on Friday demanding a cabinet birth for him.
"Phukan has been a vocal MLA of the BJP and he has been retaining the Dibrugarh seat since 2006. Besides he is a senior legislator who had kept the BJP flag flying in Dibrugarh during the Congress regime," said one of the supporters.
Supporters of Laskar, the legislator from Sonai constituency in Barak Valley, also protested in Silchar and other adjoining areas in Barak Valley alleging deprivation on the part of the Chief Minister and said that there are not enough representatives from Barak Valley in the cabinet.
On the other hand, Bodoland Peoples' Front legislator Pramila Rani Brahma, who is a minister in the Sonowal cabinet, lamented that the Forest and Environment portfolio was taken away from her.
Meanwhile, the All Assam Gorkha Students Union has also condemned the decision of the Chief Minister not to have any representation from the Gorkha community in the cabinet and set a deadline of 72 hours for him to review the decision, otherwise, "all the Gorkhas will resign from the BJP in Assam".
--IANS
anup/vd

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First Published: Apr 27 2018 | 9:44 PM IST

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