Rajya Sabha MP from the Bodoland region in Assam, Biswajit Daimary, has shot off a letter to Union Home Secretary Ajay Kumar Bhalla, asking the Centre for clarity on why did Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi visit Kokrajhar, the headquarter of the Bodoland region, despite the ongoing lockdown over coronavirus. The MP said he felt in doing so the Assam Governor has violated the lockdown guidelines.
"As per his bio-data, the Governor is 77-years-old. The Union Ministry of Home Affairs' (MHA) guidelines suggest that any person above 65 years is not allowed to step out of his home except for medical reasons and other emergency requirements. I want to know whether the Governor violated lockdown rules during his visit to Kokrajhar town on Tuesday," Mr Daimary asked in his letter, a copy of which is available with NDTV.
"At least 60 people took part in the meeting in which 29 different organisations were invited in violation of social distancing norms. Significantly, the MHA guidelines said all functions and gatherings are prohibited during the lockdown," Mr Daimary added.
While the Raj Bhawan is yet to react to the MP's letter to the Centre, the Governor's office did issue a statement about his visit to Kokrajhar.
"After assuming the administration of Bodoland Territorial Council, Assam Governor Prof. Jagdish Mukhi today visited Kokrajhar and held a meeting with the Administrator, Principal Secretary, Deputy Commissioners, IG,DIG, Superintendents of Police of the BTAD, Additional PCCF, Army, CRPF and SSB asked them to work for the welfare of the public... At present the global community is going through an extraordinary situation in view of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Our country as well as our state is battling hard against COVID 19. We are fortunate that COVID 19 cases have not been that rampant in BTAD and except a couple of positive cases in Kokrajhar all other districts are relatively free from the viral infection. But we cannot be complacent as we have to work in tandem to keep corona virus at bay" Raj Bhawan stated.
Mr Mukhi had assumed the control of the Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) in April after the election to the council couldn't be held due to the ongoing lockdown.
BTC administers four districts in lower Assam --- Kokrajhar, Baksa, Udalguri, and Chirang --- collectively called Bodoland Territorial Area Districts (BTAD).
Tuesday's trip was Mr Mukhi's first trip to BTAD after it was placed under Governor's Rule. He interacted with various officials and representatives of over two dozen organisations during his visit, official sources added.
Mr Daimary is an MP from Bodoland People Front (BPF), a BJP ally, but after Governor Mukhi imposed the Governor's rule in BTAD, BPF has threatened the BJP for "looking at alternative" and has also filed a petition against the Governor's Rule in the Gauhati High Court.