Assam CM, governor clash over Assam poaching issue

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Guwahati, March 2: The debate between Assam Governor P.B. Acharya and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi over the killings of one-horned rhinos gained steam on Monday after the latter slammed the chief minister on the first day of the assembly's budget session.

The protection of rhinos is the responsibility of the people of Assam. It is the pride of the state. Petty criminals challenging the government of Assam will not be tolerated. I cannot appreciate that fact that rhinos are being killed unabated, Acharya said while speaking to reporters outside the assembly.

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The Assam governor, who has been continuously expressing his concern over the killing of the animals, had said on Sunday that if those responsible for protection of the heritage animal were not up to the mark, they would do well to quit gracefully.

"I had called a meeting with the forest minister and the security personnel yesterday (Sunday) to review the situation. The forest minister did not come but the director of the Kaziranga National Park and I have asked him to submit a report as to what is lacking in the security of the park."

If those who are responsible for the job cannot do it, I will urge the government to make some other arrangements to protect the animals, Acharya said on Monday.

Gogoi, in response, said that the governor should remain within his limits.

"There are some limits for everyone and one should not go beyond his limitation," he said Gogoi.

Meanwhile, Opposition parties rocked the first day of the budget session of the sssembly, forcing the governor to leave the House without completing his speech.

Asom Gana Parishad legislators Padma Hazarika and Phani Bhushan Choudhury objected when the governor, in his speech, mentioned that Assam has achieved good economic growth in the last few years.

The other opposition parties, including the BJP, AGP and the AIUDF also objected to the governor's speech.

Acharya, later, read out only the last line of his over 50-page speech and left the House.

IANS

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