The Opposition and social activists in Assam have flayed Governor JB Patnaik and Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi for doing what anti-India militants usually do – insult the tricolour.
Patnaik and Gogoi have come under fire for consuming a Tricolour cake at the Raj Bhavan here on Republic Day. Almost a fortnight later, emailed and MMSed photos of the duo slicing the cake have raised the mercury.
Gogoi has tendered an apology, expressing “regret” over the “unintentional” incident. Patnaik, on the other hand, is yet to react.
That, however, has not assuaged their detractors. “This is an unpardonable offence. By such act, the Governor and the CM not only showed disrespect to the national flag but also dishonoured the country,” said AGP president Chandra Mohan Patowary.
The AGP has sent a letter – and the photographs – to President Pratibha Patil demanding action against both Patnaik and Gogoi. Letters to the Prime Minister, Chief Justice of India and the Speakers of the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha were being drafted.
“One is the Constitutional head and the other the administrative head of the state, and that makes the offence all the more unpardonable,” said Hafiz Rashid Ahmed Choudhury, lawyer and working president of All India United Democratic Front.
“They should be punished as per the provisions of the Constitution of India,” said BJP’s Assam unit president Ranjit Dutta.
Social activists too have joined in the chorus. “Will a common person be let off for insulting the Tricolour? The Governor and CM must not get away with a light rap because they occupy high offices,” said educationist and consumer rights activist Deven Dutta.