GUWAHATI, May 24 - Be it sensitive issues or the pace of development it promised, expectations are high from the Sarbananda Sonowal-led new government in Assam. Riding all the way to Dispur on the winds of change, the new government is supposed to give undivided attention to the aspirations of the people.
As the new Cabinet took the oath of office and secrecy, The Assam Tribune talked to various sections of people and conscious voters on some priorities they want to see in the Sonowal government�s agenda. While curbing corruption and good governance in the State topped the list of expectations, the litmus test for the new government, according to many, would be its action on the issue of illegal migration from Bangladesh. Most of the people, however, also cautioned the new government against complacency or deviation from its promises.
Eminent novelist and Sahitya Akademi award winner Nirupama Borgohain stated that the government is expected to be free from corruption, as it was the strongest anti-incumbency issue against the Congress. �An equal attention and treatment to the people irrespective of the caste, creed or community would be expected of this government, because of the age-old communal and religious harmony prevailing in the State. Other than the prime issues dominating their campaigns, issues related to welfare of women and children would be required,� she said.
�In literary field also, a conducive atmosphere has to be created for the budding talents to flourish, popularising books and giving required support to the writers,� she added.
Demanding the government�s focus on the issues pertaining to indigenous tribal population of the State, All Assam Tribal Sangha general secretary Aditya Khaklari said that if the government is corruption free, it would efficiently manage the governance. �The issue of identity is closely related to the condition of the indigenous tribes. The encroachment of tribal blocks and belts is also a major issue that has been grossly neglected hitherto. Our people would also look forward to the implementation of the Forest Rights Act 2006, appointment of TET qualified SC, ST candidates, creating infrastructure for quality education in tribal areas and other measures to bring the backward people of the State at par with the others,� he added.
Social worker and Padma Shri award winner Ajoy Dutta said that the issue of nationality, land and habitation that strike a chord with the majority voters need to top the agenda. �It�s the people of Assam who made them victorious with a clear mandate. Winning elections is not their achievement, they need to rise up to the expectations,� he said, adding that the government must have to be pro-people and pro-Assam.
Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Manju Borah stated that the Sonowal government must realise that politically conscious voters have sent them to the power corridors. �Bringing the change, that became a political clich�, must come to the reality, as expectations are high from this government. The word �change� must have a systematic design, which the people could see through their eyes. If this change has to be a superficial term, it would a big breach of trust,� she added.
For the film fraternity, she demanded a well outlined and steady film policy to promote and support regional language films. �There are several other demands of the fraternity and we would expect a swift and positive response,� she added.
Public activist Deven Dutta also supported planned and effective action to avert the threat to the existence of the people of Assam. �Detection and expulsion of the foreigners is the biggest expectation, though the other issues of unemployment, good governance, flood and erosion, law and order also need equal attention. If proper measures are taken to deport the illegal foreigners from the land of Assam, several related issues could be addressed much easily,� he added.
Dutta also strongly demanded an immediate improvement in the work culture in the government offices and institutions, for the people to feel the change the new government has promised.
Environmentalist Dr Amarjyoti Kashyap said the government must not limit their vision to the next five years. Along with other issues, the Swachh Bharat campaign must get a wider implementation. It should not be limited to mopping the streets but creating an overall cleaner environment.