BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, January 23: The intoxicating joy of making it to the Tarun Gogoi ministry at last already seems to have gone to the head of Chandan Sarkar. In the first flush of becoming a minister, he has put himself on the same pedestal as Akbar, Rabindra th Tagore and Srimanta Sankardeva.
Talking to reporters after the swearing–in of the new ministry, the Abhyapuri MLA was asked about his qualification and ability to serve as a cabinet minister of the state. The question provoked him to blurt out: “How much qualification did Akbar have? Do you know the qualification of Rabindrath Tagore? From which university did Srimanta Sankardeva get his degree?”
Admitting that he has studied only up to class III, Sarkar said, “If they (Akbar, Rabindrath Tagore and Sankardeva) could contribute to society in their own ways, then why cannot I? Can’t a class III passed person become a minister and serve the people?”
Sarkar also took a dig at the media for ‘helping’ him in his journey as ‘a sweeper from the footpath to the State Cabinet’.
In the past, Sarkar has been in the news for the wrong reasons with allegations of forging his SC certificate and running a coal syndicate. For long, he was a vocal member of the dissident group, making vitriolic comments against Tarun Gogoi on several occasions, especially regarding his age.
But all is forgiven now, and the new minister is in the seventh heaven. This may explain the absurd comparison he has drawn with Akbar, Tagore and Sankardeva vis–a–vis himself. But it goes to show his utter ignorance of the exalted position the three great persoges occupy in the country’s history, literature, religion and culture.
As for Girindra Mallick who got a berth in the Gogoi ministry, the question making the rounds is: has the two–time MLA ever opened his mouth in the Assembly? The people of Assam are now saddled with a minister who has hitherto remained silent on issues affecting his constituency in particular and the state in general.