In a press conference at Srimanta Sankardev Kalakshetra after taking the oath, Himanta Biswa Sarma sought blessings from the people of Assam to embark on this new journey as the Chief Minister of the state. He informed that the first meeting of the newly formed Cabinet would be held on May 11. In the meeting, the Covid situation of the state would be discussed with utmost priority. He said that this government would jump in to work in full swing within 24 hours of being sworn in and would be available for service at all hours of the day.
He also brought up the promises made regarding 1 lakh jobs for the youth and micro-finance loans and assured that the government would strive to fulfil those promises. He also addressed the promises made about flood mitigation in Assam.
In the last five years, Sarma said, Assam had witnessed peace, progress and development. Peace had been restored in Bodoland and Karbi Anglong, he reminded. He also urged the remaining insurgents to come forward for dialogue to bring lasting peace in the state. He in fact urged ULFA Supremo Paresh Baruah to give up armed violence and to participate in dialogue for resolution of the issue. Sarma added that murders and kidnapping only add to the problem instead of solving it. Sarma hopes that in the coming five years, his government would be able to bring everyone into the national and political mainstream.
On the NRC issue, Sarma said that his stance was absolutely clear. In the border areas, he seeks a 20 percent re-verification of the NRC and in the remaining districts, he seeks a 10% reverification would be implemented. If this exercise matches with the earlier NRC, then they would proceed with that but if it doesn’t stand up to the scrutiny, they would seek intervention from the court. On the issue of the cut off date for the NRC, Sarma said that such matters would be resolved through discussion with stakeholders. The Assam NRC final list 2019 was published on August 31, leaving out more than 19 lakh people.
Speaking further on the Covid situation in Assam, Sarma acknowledged that the rise in cases was alarming. He also added that until the Covid situation in Assam is brought under control, the other Northeastern states would also continue to struggle. So, the government has responsibility, not just towards the citizens of Assam but towards those in neighbouring states as well.
In the context of the spate of cases of violence against women, he said it would be his government’s primary task to ensure justice for the victims and adequate punishment for the perpetrators in all such instances. On industrial and agricultural growth, Sarma said that Assam has already been on the path for the last five years and will continue to do so.
He assured proactive governance. He also said that the government would live up to the promises made on the issues of ‘Love Jihad’ and ‘Land Jihad’.