Guwahati: The Assam assembly's monsoon session began Monday on a stormy note over Muslim voters in the state, forcing Speaker Pranab Gogoi to expel all 18 AIUDF legislators for the day.
The problem started after AIUDF's Sherman Ali Ahmed alleged that minorities were being harassed in the name of checking their citizenship status.
The All India United Democratic Front member was seeking a clarification from the government on the issue of 'D' (Doubtful) voters.
When Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain replied on behalf Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, it led to noisy scenes. The speaker adjourned the house for 15 minutes.
When the house met again, Ahmed insisted on asking more questions and did not take his seat despite repeated requests by speaker. A furious speaker then expelled him for the day.
The AIUDF legislator refused to leave. The other 17 party legislators joined him in the protest.
As nothing could be heard in the din, the speaker expelled all the AIUDF legislators for the day.
When they refused to leave the house, the speaker called in the Marshals who guided them out.
Chief Minister Gogoi later blamed the AIUDF.
"No one had told me about the incidents of harassment of genuine Indian citizens in the name of verifying their citizenship status," he said.
Minister Hussain later said the government was committed to updating the National Register of Citizens.