GUWAHATI: His critics may call him “quirky” but Rupjyoti Kurmi will always be there
among people when they are suffering.
Photos of the Assam Congress MLA, carrying sacks of flood relief on his back for distribution to the marooned, have gone viral on social media. He represents Mariani constituency in the assembly. His mother, late Rupam Kurmi, too had represented the seat and was a cabinet minister.
On Wednesday, the Rupjyoti Kurmi Fans’ Club and the Mariani-based Hengul Theatre distributed relief materials to the flood victims in Kaziranga.
“The flood this year in Assam has been devastating. With the rains gone, the water has started receding but the victims haven’t been able to go to their villages and are suffering. So, we thought we could do something for them. Later, relief materials were collected from traders, besides friends and well-wishers, and subsequently distributed,” Kurmi told the New Indian Express.
Asked why he had to carry sacks of flood relief on his back, he said, “I am no different from others. I may be an MLA but I am also a human being. I enjoy being among people and working for them”.
The MLA was critical of the Central government for all its “tall talks” and not doing anything to mitigate the sufferings of flood victims.
“Scores of lives have been lost and lakhs of people affected. But so far, there hasn’t been any assistance from the Narendra Modi government. Recently, Union minister of state for home, Kiren Rijiju, visited the state to take stock of the situation and promised assistance. Last year too, home minister Rajnath Singh
had come and promised help but eventually, Assam got nothing,” Kurmi lamented.
He added that had there been such a flood in Bihar or Uttar Pradesh, the Centre would have come up with a huge relief package and rushed ministers there.
If Kurmi has many fans and well-wishers, he has his critics as well. They contend that he unnecessarily pokes his nose in issues which are in the domain of the police and the mandarins. But then politicians always do so.