Guwahati, March 21: The Assam Legislative Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution against BBC, seeking action against the broadcaster for “malicious and dangerous” agenda propagated through ‘India: The Modi Question’. The resolution was passed amid an opposition walk out and an argument over the resolution between Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma and leader of Opposition Debabrata Saikia.
The resolution was moved by BJP MLA Bhubon Pegu through Private Members’ Resolution and alleged that BBC has questioned India’s free press, judiciary and the legitimacy of its democratically elected government in the two-part documentary film.
Earlier assemblies of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh had adopted a resolution against the BBC.
Arguing in favour of the resolution Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said, “Supreme Court of India has absolved Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the 2002 Godhra riots and termed the charges against him as political conspiracy… the BBC aired the documentary at a time when the G20 delegation was in Assam. Assam was holding five events. The timing of the airing of the documentary could have been before the verdict.”
Sarma later tweeted: “Assam Assembly has adopted a resolution to condemn the malicious documentary recently aired by the BBC to malign India’s growing international standing & foment domestic instability. The House has collectively demanded that strictest action be taken against those responsible.”
Opposition MLAs objected saying that the film should first be screened in the House before any discussion on the resolution. Leader of the Opposition Debabrata Saikia hit out at the government and said, “It will affect the free press and freedom of expression, which is a fundamental right guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.”
Chief Minister countered this by stating that fundamental rights are for the Indian citizens, not for the BBC.