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BJP ZP Member Karanga Ranjan Saikia Takes Charge As New Chairman Of Jorhat Zilla Parishad

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HT Correspondent
JORHAT,  Aug 12:
 The  Jorhat Zilla Parishad which was retained by the Congress party in the last Panchayat polls held in December 2018, went into the hands of ruling BJP on Thursday.
BJP Zilla Parishad member from Karanga Ranjan Saikia, who was earlier from the Congress party but joined the ruling party in September 2020, took charge as the new chairman of the Zilla Parishad on Thursday after he was selected to the post by members in a meeting held on the same day.

The development comes in wake of the Government removing the incumbent chairman and vice-chairperson Hiren Hazarika and Basabi Kalita Saikia respectively of the 19-member Parishad on grounds of disgraceful conduct by two separate orders issued in the name of Governor by the principal secretary, Panchayat and Rural Development, on August 6.

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The orders reportedly stated that both Hazarika and Kalita were “found to be guilty of disgraceful conduct” for not attending the flag hoisting ceremony on January 26, 2020.and hence under the powers vested upon the Government under Section 74 (I) of the Assam Panchayat Act, 1994, they (Hiren Hazarika and Basabi Kalita Saikia) have been removed from office.

The order for Hiren Hazarika also mentioned “his negligence and incapacity of his duties” thereby violating the provisions of sections 82 (1) of the Assam Panchayat Act and also for failing to conduct any meeting of finance and audit committee of Jorhat Zilla Parishad in the tenure of his service.

It may be mentioned that the Congress party, which had a majority in the Zilla Parishad, in the meantime, lost four members including Ranjan Saikia joined BJP and one joined AGP, an ally of BJP.

The Congress party has cried foul over the manner in which the incumbent chairman Hiren Hazarika and chairperson Basabi Kalita Saikia were removed.

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Basabi Kalita Saikia, who was removed from her post on Thursday when contacted, said that she had been removed on a flimsy ground.

Both of them claimed that they reached the venue on time but found that the flag was already hoisted a few minutes earlier of their arrival, adding that both had adequately replied to the show cause notices issued to them by the government.

“I was on time by my watch for attending the flag hoisting ceremony on January 26, 2020, but ‘late by their clock’. I was at the gate when the flag was hoisted and both I and the chairman were sent show cause notices,” she said.

Uttam Gogoi, Zilla Parishad member of the Congress party said that the other reason for removal of chairman Hazarika was not reasonable, he said, “During that period, that is 2020 and 2021, the Covid-19 pandemic was on and therefore the finance and audit committee meets had not been called.”

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He further said Hazarika and Kakati Saikia were both planning to move the High Court against the order. Basabi Kakati Saikia also affirmed this.

Uttam Gogoi further said that as per the Assam Panchayat Act, 1994 there was no clause where it was mandatory for the chairman and chairperson to attend the flag hoisting, failing which they could be removed.

Zilla Parishad CEO Pranab Bora said that the meeting to select the new vice chairperson would be held on August 16 as the BJP party on Thursday had prayed for some time to make a selection.

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The Hills Timeshttps://www.thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
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