Jorhat: Assam chief minister Tarun Gogoi was seen dancing jhumoor with two girls of the tea tribe community at Hatikhuli tea estate in Upper Assam’s Kaziranga, even as the nation was mourning the death of its people’s president APJ Abdul Kalam. The Chief Minister today went on television to apologise “I should not have danced…I had forgotten for a moment about Kalam’s death and I apologise for this,” the chief minister said.
Asked why he had played golf and danced at a time when the state was in mourning, Gogoi said playing games was not wrong but dancing jhumoor was.
Sammujjal Bhattacharjya, adviser to the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU), said the acts were shocking coming from the chief minister and must be condemned.
Assam BJP president Siddhartha Bhattacharya said it was shameful and not to be expected from the chief minister at a time when the state was in mourning and that he had broken protocol. Moreover, his close friend and veteran Congress leader B.K. Handique had passed away four days ago, he added.
Gogoi was visiting the tea estate owned by Amalgamated Plantations Private Limited to see the upgraded tea factory, the garden hospital, which has been recently developed with state-of-the-art facilities and a recreational facility meant for the management, staff and workers.
On reports that the chief minister had broken protocol, the garden management said there was no jhumoor troupe to greet Gogoi.
“Two girls traditionally dressed in white-and-red bordered saris had applied a tilak on his forehead and then bowed down to touch his feet. The chief minister then in a spontaneous act just danced a couple of steps. The channels, which showed the chief minister dancing, never showed an entire group of dancers. This was not organised by us,” an official said.
A close aide of the chief minister also said he had not intended to break protocol intentionally. Later, Gogoi inaugurated the renovated Missa Polo Club and the spice park owned by Amalgamated Plantations at Kaliabor in Nagaon district.