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Transparency in MLAs� work must for people�s faith to continue: CM

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Oct 3 - Urging MLAs to take the lead in solving problems at the local level in their respective constituencies, Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has said that usage of modern technologies and coming of the digital revolution mean that public are constantly monitoring the work of their elected representatives and aspirations of the masses have also grown.

Speaking during the inaugural session of �Sabal Bidhayak�, a series of orientation programmes for MLAs of the Assam Legislative Assembly here last evening, Sonowal said that voters of the State want their elected representatives as �empowered legislators�.

�The expectations of the people have grown in recent times. They want their legislators to be active. Growth of digital literacy means growth in accountability and responsibility for MLAs,� he said.

Stating that digital literacy and adopting technology are key areas for the MLAs to tackle newer challenges of society, Sonowal said the people from the constituency these days want to know every activity of the MLA throughout the day and social media plays a big role in that. The representatives must bring transparency in their functioning so that the people�s faith in the system remains intact.

The Chief Minister said that legislators must be proactive and initiate innovative action for bringing in change at the grassroots.

He called upon the MLAs to gain in-depth knowledge of their respective constituencies, including resources, demography and topography and said that only by inculcating such knowledge will the legislators be able to properly represent their constituencies.

Sonowal said that when he first became a Lok Sabha MP in 2004, he and the other newly elected parliamentarians had also been given similar orientations and added that the journey of empowerment begins with such programmes.

�The citizens want their local MLAs to be ideal human beings. All MLAs will have to prioritise their own constituencies. Even though I am the Chief Minister, I will continue to have to focus on the development of my constituency, Majuli,� he said

Sonowal said the orientation programme will be able to help the MLAs in capacity building and enable them to come up with solutions to the problems facing their constituencies and added that the legislators would be able to learn research and strategy designing, making sustainable development plans and media relations from the programme.

He, however, added that while focusing on their own constituencies, the MLAs must also be active with regard to major problems affecting the State as a whole. Sonowal called upon the MLAs to spread awareness about the government�s projects and schemes among the masses.

Assembly Speaker Ranjeet Kumar Dass said that the orientation programme has been designed in a manner to ensure that topics of diverse nature are included in it. He said distinguished speakers from across the country will act as resource persons for the MLAs during the orientation programme.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister for Finance, Health and Education, Himanta Biswa Sarma said people everywhere are now aspiring for a better life and there is also growing disenchantment with the political class among the voters.

He said people�s faith in the governance process has gone down and called upon the MLAs to get involved in �positive interference� to change the lives of the common man. He urged the legislators to take up matters of immunisation of children and ensure regular classes in schools of their constituencies to bring the change people want this government to deliver.

The Minister also urged each MLA to adopt a school and hospital of their constituency to make it a model school and hospital. Sarma called on all the MLAs to start their own websites to provide details regarding utilisation of MLA funds, project reports and such things.

Former Indian Ambassador to UK Dr Jaimini Bhagwati, while delivering the keynote address, said that development depends on the factors of security, universal basic income, health and education. He said that land, labour, capital and technology are the key inputs for growth.

Calling for simplification of procedures with regard to laws dealing with land acquisition and labour laws, Bhagwati said that change in land and labour laws will attract capital and technology to Assam.

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