GUWAHATI: Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma has said that the ruling and the opposition parties can work together on issues where they have no differences, and that will benefit the people of the State. He has also assured the State Assembly that the government will work day in, day out to meet the aspirations of the people.
Replying to the discussion on the Motion of Thanks of the Governor's speech on Monday, Sarma was crystal clear when he said, "Assam can be made one of the top States at the participation of both the Opposition parties and the public. I seek cooperation from the Opposition. The ruling and the Opposition parties will have a difference on issues like the closure of madrassas, NRC re-verification, making xatra land free from encroachment, protection of cows etc. On such issues, we'll work in our ways, and let the Opposition work in their ways. On certain issues, we won't deviate from our avowed stand. However, such issues shouldn't disrupt the functioning of the House. It's my fervent appeal to the Opposition."
"In the past five years, the Sarbananda Sonowal Government had a pace for development. In the coming five years we need to speed up the development.
"During its rule in the State, the Congress did spend Rs 42,000 crore annually for the development of the State. As against that, the Sarbananda Sonowal-led Government spent Rs 82,000 crore annually on the development head.
"There were no communal clashes in the State during the Sonowal government, nor were there any fratricidal killings. The Sonowal government did the politics of value, and we are here to keep that tempo up."
On the fight against COVID-19 in the State, Sarma said, "The way we're fighting the pandemic is beyond comparison with any other State. Doctors, nurses and other paramedical staff work day in, day out, and that is the reason behind the death rate is at 0.5 per cent. We've no dearth of oxygen and ICUs (Intensive Care Units), rather we provide oxygen to other States of the Northeast. We've also provided Remdesivir to some other states."
On the Government seeking generous donations from the public for the vaccination drive in the State, Sarma said, "The Opposition has criticized the move. There's nothing wrong with seeking generous donations. It's an age-old practice in India. This time, we don't want to impose any additional tax or cess for the vaccination. We did impose additional taxes last year. That is why we've appealed to the people of the State to be stakeholders in the vaccination drive through generous donations. Our target is to vaccinate the 3.15 crore people of the State."
On the construction of embankments in the State, Sarma said, "It's the responsibility of the Water Resources Department to decide where embankments are to be erected. However, the responsibility of the design and technical know-how is that of an expert committee to be constituted. The committee will have IIT experts and others."