BARDOWA: North East Democratic Alliance convenor Himanta Biswa Sarma today said Assam does not need “narrow and limited” regionalism.
Taking an apparent dig at the new regional parties, floated on the anti-Citizenship Amendment Act plank, as well as the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) that he has been targeting all along in his Assam assembly elections campaign this time, the Assam cabinet minister said: “Assam doesn’t need all those narrow and limited regionalism. I want to tell those who vandalised Srimanta Sankardeva Kalakshetra that Assam cannot grow by doing so. Assam can grow only through the ideologies of Sankardeva and Madhabdeva.”
He was speaking during the foundation laying ceremony of upgrade of the Batadrava Than (monastery) here. Union home minister Amit Shah was also present on the occasion and accused the Assam Jatiya Parishad and Raijor Dal not fighting their own cause but of helping the Congress only to fight the BJP.
Sarma had about a month ago taken a jibe at the two new parties saying that they should join the Congress-led six-party alliance so that they would not be called the B team of the BJP.
Sarma assured that the Rs 180-crore project would be completed within 18 months.
The programme also witnessed a near re-run of All India United Democratic Front’s (AIUDF) “Sankardev Saheb Zidabad” episode here when Assam chief minister Sarbananda Sonowal “Amit Shah Zindabad” slogans urging the gathering to second him with “highest devotion” hailing the BJP leader at the birthplace of Vaishnavite saint-reformer Srimanta Sankardeva.
The AIUDF controversy has hardly died down following its supremo Badruddin Ajmal tendering public apology.
Winding up his short speech ahead of Shah’s address, Sonowal first raise the slogan hailing Sankardeva and than that of Amit Shah.
He urged the gathering to second him by “standing up at your respective seats and raising both your hands with all devotion in the land of devotion” in case of the “nation’s most powerful home minister” giving an impression that Shah took the position of Sankardeva.
Ahead of the 2016 elections, the Congress had put up giant poster of Sonowal touching the feet of then senior BJP leader Arun Jaitly when the latter was not even reciprocating him.
In his speech the chief minister presented a list of initiatives his government has taken so far to promote the neo-Vaishnavite cult in the state and appreciated his colleagues for their sincere efforts in the endeavours.