The BJP had, during its election campaign, almost singularly harped on the Bangladeshi influx issue, with the party promising the state a “Bangladeshi-free government.”
“I promise to strive to make Assam free of Bangladeshi infiltrators, corruption and pollution.”- This is what 54-year old Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam’s first BJP chief minister announced soon after taking oath in Guwahati on Tuesday. The BJP had, during its election campaign, almost singularly harped on the Bangladeshi influx issue, with the party promising the state a “Bangladeshi-free government.” Sonowal also promised to ensure social and financial security of every citizen of the state, and said his government would never do anything that would bring sorrow to the people.
“Our government will work towards ensuring social and financial security of every person living in Assam. And I assure you, we will not do anything that will bring sorrow to your mind,” he said. Sonowal, who spoke for just nine minutes immediately after prime minister Narendra Modi delivered a 14-minute speech, also invoked a whole list of names of national heroes of the state – which included Ahom dynasty founder Chao-lung Sukapha, General Lachit Barphukan (who had inflicted the most crushing defeat on the Moghuls in 1671), 16th century saint-reformers Sankaradeva and Madhavadeva, Sufi saint Ajan Faqir, founder of modern Assamese culture Jyotiprasad Agarwala, and the legendary Bhupen Hazarika. And, keeping in mind the sentiments of the people who had hailed him as ‘jatiya nayak’ (national hero) for having moved a petition that had led to scrapping of the controversial IMDT Act by the Supreme Court in 2005, as also the fact that the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) had indirectly contributed immensely helped him win this election, Sonowal also paid his tributes to the martyrs of the anti-foreigners’ movement of 1979-85.