GUWAHATI, April 7 - Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today said that to ensure the involvement of people in the democratic process, it was imperative to take the State Legislative Assembly closer to common people.
Speaking at the 81st foundation anniversary function of the Assam Legislative Assembly here, Sonowal said that till a negative impression about the politicians exists among common people even best of the attempts of legislators to help people would prove to be futile.
�Ours is a participatory democracy and unless people feel free to question their representatives, the word �politics� would have a negative connotation.
The anniversary celebration of the Assembly was also marked with presentation of awards for best legislator and best journalist reporting on Assembly issues. While Jonai MLA Bhuban Pegu bagged the award for best legislator, the best journalist award was shared by Jitendra Kumar Choudhury of Dainik Asam and Arup Jyoti Mahanta of Dainik Agradoot.
The best legislator award carries a citation and Rs 1 lakh. On the other hand, the best journalist award for the year 2017-18 comprised a citation and Rs 50,000 each.
Speaking as the guest of honour, Yumnam Khemchand Singh, Speaker of Manipur Legislative Assembly, said that democracy was the best form of governance. �It is time for all of us to fight and eliminate any form of discrimination among human beings due to differences in caste, creed, religion, sex, and ethics, besides economic differences,� he said.
Veteran politician and former MLA Premadhar Bora said Assam and the Northeast have played a vital role in India�s political and social milieu since time immemorial. �Assam Assembly has a glorious past,� he added. Another distinguished guest of the occasion, former MLA and Padma Shri award winning social activist Ajoy Dutta also cited examples of unity among legislators, amid all the political and ideological differences.
Earlier, former Speaker Prithibi Majhi released a souvenir of the foundation anniversary, while Deputy Speaker Dilip Kumar Paul delivered the welcome address.
In his concluding remarks, Speaker Hitendra Nath Goswami said he was considering a plan of transforming the State Legislative Assembly into an academic and research institute. He also shared about his plans to arrange for a common platform for the four pillars of democracy so that important matters could be discussed and resolved through face-to-face conversations.