Sonowal’s reply in Assembly

Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Feb 13: Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal on Saturday exuded confidence that the BJP will come back to power in Assam by dint of its performance, good governance and inclusive growth of all sections of people.

Addressing the House for the first time from the floor of the new building of the Legislative Assembly, Sonowal told the Opposition that the people would once again elect the BJP to power, because the government has performed well and the Opposition should not get disappointed over this fact.

“We will come back again, let us work together,” Sonowal said at the end of his one-and-half-hour-long address on the concluding day of the last session of the 14th Assam Legislative Assembly. He was replying to the debate on the motion of thanks over the Governor’s address.

“We have taken along the members of Opposition on this path of development with the spirit of ‘Sabka saath, sabka vikash, sabka vishwas’ – a trait which was missing in the previous regimes,” he said.

Sonowal said that amid the COVID-19 crisis, his government only got three and a half years to carry on developmental works and it ensured that the aspirations of all sections of people are fulfilled.

He thanked the COVID frontline workers, doctors, nurses and hospital staff as well as the state Health department led by Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma for doing commendable work to contain the COVID situation effectively.

Stressing that establishing peace has been a major achievement of his government, Sonowal said four factions of the NDFB joining the mainstream, signing of the BTR peace accord and absence of any major communal strife during his tenure have created an investment friendly environment in Assam.

“Japanese investors are willing to invest in Assam and the Japanese Ambassador will visit the state with our External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on February 15. After Advantage Assam, 240 MoUs were signed with public and private sector companies. Out of Rs 79,000 crore investment commitments received during the summit, there has been a landing of Rs 55,000 crore so far, including the Rs 42,000 crore investments in the hydrocarbon sector,” he said.

The Chief Minister said that due to his government’s thrust on protecting forest and environment, 222 sq km forest area has increased in the state, the number of tigers in the Manas National Park has gone up, and while rhino poaching and encroachment in Kaziranga has also been contained.

“To stop cross-border infiltration, sensors have been set up along the 48-km riverine border with Bangladesh with the help of Israeli technology to check influx. For indigenous landless people, 3.65 lakh land pattas have been distributed,” he stated.

The Chief Minister also referred to the initiatives to improve connectivity, including the UDAN scheme, and upcoming project Mahabahu Brahmaputra Arth, which will develop waterways, improve transport, connectivity, import-export, etc., along the Brahmaputra and Barak rivers. The Union government project worth Rs 3,200 crore is slated to start shortly. He also informed the House that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will lay the foundation stone of a bridge in Majuli on February 18. “Following an MoU with Bangladesh, the Chittagong port is also now accessible to us,” he added.

The Chief Minister also referred to projects taken up for capacity building of the Bongaigaon and Numaligarh refineries, NE Gas Grid project, Assam Gas Cracker Project, etc. Emphasizing on his government’s promise to make Assam corruption-free, pollution-free and terrorism-free, Sonowal said that with an ardent intention to work for the people and with support from the people, the present government has been able to deliver on all these fronts.