Source: Assam Tribune Relevance: GS Paper lll (Indian Economy) & GS V Assam Economy

Why in the News:

On Wednesday, opposition lawmakers in Assam left the assembly in protest after being dissatisfied with the state agriculture minister’s response regarding the Garukhuti project. They argued that the project was incurring heavy losses and called for the reinstatement of farmers who had been evicted by the government. The opposition members continued to maintain this stance.

Background of the Garukhuti Project:

Project Launch:

Initiated by the Darrang District Commissioner with local Agriculture Office support, later transferred to a Managing Committee following a Cabinet decision.


  • It is an agricultural initiative aimed at boosting local farming and employment opportunities.

  • It has been focused on agricultural development, including the procurement of seeds, farm machinery, and hiring tractors.

  • Funding and Revenue: The government has invested Rs 17.67 crore in the project, with Rs 9.53 crore allocated during the district commissioner's administration and Rs 8.15 crore under the managing committee.

  •  Agricultural Investments: A total of Rs 3.30 crore spent on agricultural needs, including seed purchases, farm equipment, and tractor rentals.

  •  Revenue from Crops: Sales of agricultural products have generated Rs 2.79 crore, with an additional expected revenue of about Rs 1.58 crore.

Opposition’s Perspective:

  • Agriculture Profitability Debate: Opposition lawmakers contend that farming was profitable for farmers working at their own expense before government intervention in Gorukhuti.

  • Criticism of Minister's Explanation: Parties such as AIUDF, Congress, CPI(M), and an Independent MLA criticized the minister's defense, labeling the Gorukhuti project a failure.

  • Call for Farmers' Return: The opposition is calling for the return of farmers who were displaced by the government from the area.

Eviction Drive and its Consequences:

  • Eviction Drive by the Incumbent Government: The incumbent government conducted an eviction drive in the Gorukhuti area soon after coming to power in 2021.

  • Around 1,200-1,400 houses, mostly belonging to Bengali-speaking Muslims, were razed to the ground, leaving over 7,000 people homeless.

  • Resistance and Casualties: The eviction drive was conducted amid stiff resistance by the local people.

  •  Injuries and Destruction: Over 20 people were injured, including policemen, during the eviction drive. Village markets, mosques, kabarstans, madrassas, and maktubs were also bulldozed.

The opposition staged a walkout from the Assam Assembly due to dissatisfaction over the Gorukhuti project and the government’s response. The matter remains unresolved, with the opposition maintaining that the project was profitable before government intervention and demanding the reinstatement of evicted farmers.

Advait IAS